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The 2017 Trading Tech 40: Nick Themelis

  • By Peter Vasiliev

12. Nick Themelis
Chief Information Officer
MarketAxess Holdings
Last year: 13

After yet another record-shattering year, executives of the fixed-income trading, data, and posttrade services provider MarketAxess Holdings aren't conceding any limits to the company's growth potential — or the power of its technology. In business since 2000, publicly held since 2004, and with Nick Themelis as chief information officer since 2005, MarketAxess' electronic platform claimed a 17.2 percent share of U.S. high-grade corporate bond trading in 2016's fourth quarter, up from 15.1 percent a year earlier. Its total global, full-year trading volume of $1.3 trillion was 33.7 percent higher than in 2015, while revenue climbed 22 percent to $369.9 million, and pretax income rose 29.5 percent to $191 million.

Helping to fuel that success, and accounting for 13 percent of trading volume, is one of the most talked about bond market innovations: the Open Trading protocol, which MarketAxess introduced in 2012 and is currently approaching $1 billion in daily volume after 86 percent growth last year. "Open Trading was a response to the market's liquidity problems," Themelis, 53, explains. "We connect every point of liquidity," buy-side and sell-side, in a so-called all-to-all trading pool that in 2016 saved liquidity takers an estimated $100 million-plus in transaction costs.

Themelis, a former Barclays Capital CIO for North America and global head of fixed-income technology, believes it will be hard for a competitor to match MarketAxess' first-mover advantage, notably its connected community of more than 1,100 buy- and sell-side participants that is responsible for Open Trading's momentum. Those users are requesting that the protocol be extended into municipal bonds and other asset classes.


The 2017 Trading Tech 40

1. Richard Prager
BlackRock
2. Chris Isaacson
Bats Global Markets
3. Bradley Peterson
Nasdaq
4. Brad Levy
MarkitSERV
5. Dan Keegan
Citi
6. Glenn Lesko
Bloomberg Tradebook
7. Bryan Durkin
CME Group
8. Mayur Kapani
Intercontinental Exchange
9. Mike Blum
KCG Holdings
10. Raj Mahajan
Goldman Sachs Group
11. Ronald DePoalo
Fidelity Institutional
12. Nick Themelis
MarketAxess Holdings
13. Jenny Knott
NEX Optimisation
14. Billy Hult
Tradeweb Markets
15. Rob Park
IEX Group
16. Bill Chow & Richard Leung
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
17. John Mackay (Mack) Gill
MillenniumIT
18. Paul Hamill
Citadel Securities
19. Eric Noll
Convergex
20. Veronica Augustsson
Cinnober Financial Technology
21. Tyler Moeller & Joshua Walsky
Broadway Technology
22. Alasdair Haynes
Aquis Exchange
23. Gaurav Suri
Arcesium
24. Manoj Narang
Mana Partners
25. Michael Chin & Neill Penney
Thomson Reuters
26. Robert Sloan
S3 Partners
27. Anton Katz & Stephen Mock
AQR Capital Management
28. Donal Byrne
Corvil
29. Stu Taylor
Algomi
30. Alfred Eskandar
Portware
31. Steven Randich
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
32. R. Cromwell Coulson
OTC Markets Group
33. Peter Maragos
Dash Financial
34. John Fawcett
Quantopian
35. Donald
Ross III
PDQ Enterprises
36. Jennifer Nayar
Vela Trading Technologies
37. Dan Raju
Tradier
38. Susan Estes
OpenDoor Trading
39. David Mercer
LMAX Exchange
40. Oki Matsumoto
Monex Group

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