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The 2017 Trading Tech 40: Brad Levy

< Wall Street's Nerds: The World's Most Powerful Trading Executives4. Brad LevyChief Executive OfficerMarkitSERVLast 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 40Click below to view profiles
1. Richard PragerBlackRock2. Chris IsaacsonBats Global Markets3. Bradley PetersonNasdaq4. Brad LevyMarkitSERV5. Dan KeeganCiti
6. Glenn LeskoBloomberg Tradebook7. Bryan DurkinCME Group8. Mayur KapaniIntercontinental Exchange9. Mike BlumKCG Holdings10. Raj MahajanGoldman Sachs Group
11. Ronald DePoaloFidelity Institutional12. Nick ThemelisMarketAxess Holdings13. Jenny KnottNEX Optimisation14. Billy HultTradeweb Markets15. Rob ParkIEX Group
16. Bill Chow & Richard LeungHong Kong Exchanges and Clearing17. John Mackay (Mack) GillMillenniumIT18. Paul HamillCitadel Securities19. Eric NollConvergex20. Veronica AugustssonCinnober Financial Technology
21. Tyler Moeller & Joshua WalskyBroadway Technology22. Alasdair HaynesAquis Exchange23. Gaurav SuriArcesium24. Manoj NarangMana Partners25. Michael Chin & Neill PenneyThomson Reuters
26. Robert SloanS3 Partners27. Anton Katz & Stephen MockAQR Capital Management28. Donal ByrneCorvil29. Stu TaylorAlgomi30. Alfred EskandarPortware
31. Steven RandichFinancial Industry Regulatory Authority32. R. Cromwell CoulsonOTC Markets Group33. Peter MaragosDash Financial34. John FawcettQuantopian35. Donald
Ross III
PDQ Enterprises
36. Jennifer NayarVela Trading Technologies37. Dan RajuTradier38. Susan EstesOpenDoor Trading39. David MercerLMAX Exchange40. Oki MatsumotoMonex Group