How good is Nasdaq's technology? Look at the sales of the global exchange operator's Nasdaq Market Technology unit, the fact that more than 90 marketplaces around the world run on Nasdaq systems, and the impact of the Nasdaq Financial Framework, which Adena Friedman, then president and COO of Nasdaq, unveiled in May 2016. The framework is "the next-generation architecture for market technology that really carries our clients into the future, allowing seamless access to and implementation of cloud computing, advanced messaging, blockchain, and other leading-edge components," Friedman explains. CEO since January 1, when she succeeded Robert Greifeld, Friedman says the framework is a key factor in the steady stream of business for Nasdaq Market Technology, which generated $275 million, or 12 percent, of parent Nasdaq's total 2016 net revenue and reported $47 million of order intake in this year's first quarter. The framework figured in the April announcement of an extensive trading, clearing, and risk management systems upgrade for Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing's main derivatives market; and in an agreement, revealed in May, to supply trading technology to the new AIFC Exchange in Kazakhstan's Astana International Financial Center.
"Technology allows us to think much bigger and look further into the future than we otherwise could," says Friedman, 48, who started at Nasdaq in 1993 as an intern and took one detour, to be chief financial officer of Carlyle Group, from 2011 to 2014. She returned to Nasdaq as president, overseeing technology, information, and corporate businesses that together accounted for more than two thirds of total revenue. Among the high points of her first half-year as CEO was "The Promise of Market Reform," a proposed blueprint for regulatory and market-structure measures to boost both private and public capital formation, make exchange listings more appealing, and encourage "long-termism" in investment and corporate strategies. Reaction in the investment community and in Washington has been positive, Friedman says, but adds, "This is just the beginning. Laws don't change quickly."
In April she announced the launch of Nasdaq Ventures, to take minority stakes in potentially disruptive start-ups that align strategically with Nasdaq objectives.
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