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The 2017 Tech 40: Seth Merrin

  • By Peter Vasiliev

25. Seth Merrin
Chief Executive Officer
Liquidnet Holdings
Last year: 22

"Business is just a set of problems to solve," Seth Merrin writes in The Power of Positive Destruction, a combination personal memoir and entrepreneurial how-to manual published in December. "It's really the book of Liquidnet," that is, the company he founded and went live with in 2001 with a trading platform for institutions whose large stock orders had become too difficult to transact on traditional exchanges. A lot of sweat went into growing the network from 38 buy-side firms at the start to more than 850 today, trading in 44 markets around the globe. That's not to mention the bumps along Merrin's career path and in multiple startups, including Merrin Financial, which pioneered the buy-side trade order management system. "I made tons of mistakes," he admits, now hoping others can learn from his experiences. As the title of the book, co-written with Carlye Adler, suggests, the Liquidnet Holdings CEO, 57, remains every bit the entrepreneur scoping out opportunities for disruption. "We are in institutional fintech," he says, noting that about a third of Liquidnet's 400-plus employees are technologists. "That is our core competency," he adds. In the book he urges that technology be embraced as a competitive advantage, but adds: "Understand that with the pace of technological change, the disrupter can easily become the disrupted. Positive destruction must be constant."


The 2017 Tech 40
1. Adena Friedman
NASDAQ
2. Catherine Bessant
Bank of
America Corp.
3. Robert Goldstein
BlackRock
4. Jeffrey Sprecher
Intercontinental Exchange
5. Lance Uggla
IHS Markit
6. Shawn Edwards & Vlad Kliatchko
Bloomberg
7. David Craig
Thomson Reuters
8. Michael Spencer
NEX Group
9. Don Callahan
Citigroup
10. Elisha Wiesel
Goldman Sachs Group
11. Michael Bodson
Depository Trust & Clearing Corp.
12. Terrence Duffy
CME Group
13. Charles Li
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing
14. Sean Belka
Fidelity Investments
15. Chris Concannon
CBOE Holdings
16. Guy Chiarello
First Data Corp.
17. Steven Lieblich
Citadel
18. David Rutter
R3CEV
19. Blythe Masters
Digital Asset Holdings
20. Alfred Spector
Two Sigma Investments
21. Neil Katz
D.E. Shaw Group
22. Lee Olesky
Tradeweb Markets
23. Richard McVey
MarketAxess Holdings
24. David Gledhill
DBS Bank
25. Seth Merrin
Liquidnet Holdings
26. Antoine Shagoury
State Street Corp.
27. Peter Brown &
Robert Mercer
Renaissance Technologies
28. Lou Eccleston
TMX Group
29. Peter Cherecwich
Northern Trust Corp.
30. Mike Chinn
S&P Global Market Intelligence
31. Chris Corrado
London Stock Exchange Group
32. Neal Pawar
AQR Capital Management
33. Gary Norcross
Fidelity National Information Services
34. Steven O'Hanlon
Numerix
35. Sebastián Ceria
Axioma
36. Brian Conlon
First Derivatives and Kx Systems
37. Tyler Kim
MaplesFS
38. Michael Cooper
BT Radianz
39. Robert Schifellite
Broadridge Financial Solutions
40. Jim Minnick
eVestment

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