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The 2017 Trading Tech 40: Brad Levy

No. 4. Brad Levy, Chief Executive Officer, MarkitSERV

  • By Peter Vasiliev

4. Brad Levy
Chief Executive Officer
MarkitSERV
Last year: 6

The July merger of broad-based information and analytics company IHS with financial industry–focused Markit created IHS Markit, with nearly $3 billion in annual revenue, a $16 billion market cap, and 50,000 customers worldwide. Brad Levy says that from where he sits, "not much has changed." But that is to be taken with a grain of salt. While running two businesses — as CEO of MarkitSERV, a leading derivatives processor; and IHS Markit's global head of loans, servicing the syndicated loan market — Levy is drawn to disruptions. They fall mainly under the categories of blockchain, collaboration, and artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Exploratory blockchain, or distributed ledger, activities have accelerated over the past year. An internal working group known as the chain gang has doubled in size to more than a dozen people, who in turn have doubled the amount of time they spend on distributed ledger technology, Levy says. MarkitSERV trade confirmations on credit default swaps were used in a test of posttrade smart contracts completed last year with the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., four major banks, and software company Axoni. "The success of this initiative reinforces our commitment to continued development of blockchain technology in CDS, other asset classes, and financial industry processes more generally," Levy said in April. He describes his attitude as "patient urgency," not swept away by the earlier bubble of blockchain exuberance, and understanding that it will "take some time" to sort out the complexities. "I believe we will find some efficiencies first — as we already are doing — and the real disruption will come later," the 46-year-old says.

He ponders long-run opportunities for collaboration and workflow improvement as a director of the Symphony Foundation, which was formed in 2015 to promote open source innovation on the Symphony Communication Services secure messaging platform. Symphony began as a Goldman Sachs Group initiative and was spun out as a consortium, and Markit, which earlier had created its own collaboration services platform, became an active partner. Levy spent 17 years with Goldman and headed its principal strategic investments group before joining Markit in 2012.


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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