As a highly diversified international exchange operator that serves a number of asset classes across the trading-clearing-settlements spectrum, Deutsche Börse Group must constantly pursue growth opportunities even as customers, shareholders and competitive pressures require lower costs and heightened efficiency. That’s a double-edged challenge for CIO Michael Kuhn, 56, and the vast technology infrastructure he oversees.
Deutsche Börse addressed these realities in cost-cutting announcements in February and March: €150 million in annual savings by 2013, but also an increase in the budget for growth initiatives by more than 50 percent, to €100 million, effective this year.
The investment emphasis is on technology, risk management and product innovation, the announcement said. That has been evident in, for example, the speed of the Xetra electronic trading platform and integration plans for derivatives markets Eurex and International Securities Exchange. Kuhn joined Eurex predecessor Deutsche Terminbörse as a developer in 1989 and has been on Deutsche Börse’s executive board since 1999.
While Eurex and ISE volumes have been off, Xetra reported 17 percent year-over-year growth in the first quarter; the Frankfurt exchange floor reported 12 percent, and the Clearstream subsidiary’s custody assets grew by 7 percent. In April the market data and analytics segment — which increased first-quarter revenue by 8 percent, to €52.5 million — introduced AlphaFlash, which feeds market news and indicators into algorithmic trading systems for automatic analysis and execution.
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