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The 2017 Tech 40: Elisha Wiesel

< The 2017 Tech 4010. Elisha WieselChief Information OfficerGoldman Sachs GroupLast year: PNR

A reshuffling at the top of Goldman Sachs Group this year led to Elisha Wiesel's becoming chief information officer in January. Wiesel replaced R. Martin Chavez (No. 6 last year) when he was elevated to chief financial officer. Wiesel is carrying on the firm's long-standing tradition of information technology leadership, now riding on a platform architecture championed by Chavez. "We have always been an early adopter and investor in technology — it is part of our culture and a competitive advantage for the firm," says Wiesel, 45, who is the highest-ranking of some 9,000 Goldman engineers, about 25 percent of the firm's total employees. Historically emphasizing software development as a core competency — its proprietary SecDB securities database for pricing and risk management is 25 years old and going strong — Goldman extends its IT reach and influence through a principal strategic investments group that owns stakes in exchanges, trading technology and data analytics businesses, and fintech start-ups. Wiesel points out that Goldman was one of the first banks to use public cloud systems; it worked with the likes of Amazon Web Services and Google to ensure security and the ability to support big-data requirements.

The bank is currently building on the platform strategy, which Chavez has described as "redesigning the whole company around APIs," application programming interfaces that open up Goldman's software and data to clients. Just as Google is an open platform for searching, Goldman presents itself as a platform for financial risk transfer, no longer requiring a telephone call to conduct business. The platform-API approach gives clients direct access to Goldman-developed tools and analytics. It also enables Goldman to innovate rapidly: It took less than 12 months from project inception to the launch last fall of the Marcus online personal-loan platform. Wiesel joined the firm in 1994 in the commodities division — where Chavez had started the year before — as a "strat," one of the computer scientists who work in the revenue-producing divisions and report up to the CIO as well as to their division heads.

 The 2017 Tech 40Click below to view profiles
1. Adena FriedmanNASDAQ2. Catherine BessantBank of
America Corp.3. Robert GoldsteinBlackRock4. Jeffrey SprecherIntercontinental Exchange5. Lance UgglaIHS Markit
6. Shawn Edwards & Vlad KliatchkoBloomberg7. David CraigThomson Reuters8. Michael SpencerNEX Group9. Don CallahanCitigroup10. Elisha WieselGoldman Sachs Group
11. Michael BodsonDepository Trust & Clearing Corp.12. Terrence DuffyCME Group13. Charles LiHong Kong Exchanges and Clearing14. Sean BelkaFidelity Investments15. Chris ConcannonCBOE Holdings
16. Guy ChiarelloFirst Data Corp.17. Steven LieblichCitadel18. David RutterR3CEV19. Blythe MastersDigital Asset Holdings20. Alfred SpectorTwo Sigma Investments
21. Neil KatzD.E. Shaw Group22. Lee OleskyTradeweb Markets23. Richard McVeyMarketAxess Holdings24. David GledhillDBS Bank25. Seth MerrinLiquidnet Holdings
26. Antoine ShagouryState Street Corp.27. Peter Brown &
Robert Mercer
Renaissance Technologies28. Lou EcclestonTMX Group29. Peter CherecwichNorthern Trust Corp.30. Mike ChinnS&P Global Market Intelligence
31. Chris CorradoLondon Stock Exchange Group32. Neal PawarAQR Capital Management33. Gary NorcrossFidelity National Information Services34. Steven O'HanlonNumerix35. Sebastián CeriaAxioma
36. Brian ConlonFirst Derivatives and Kx Systems37. Tyler KimMaplesFS38. Michael CooperBT Radianz39. Robert SchifelliteBroadridge Financial Solutions40. Jim MinnickeVestment