Having grown over nine years into a global financial data company with 1,600 employees, Markit Group is definitely a large player in indexes, valuations and trade processing, as CEO Lance Uggla puts it. But he still views Markit as an underdog because it cant match the huge networks that are the competitive edge for a content distribution company like Thomson Reuters. So to compete, we have to use the Web, he says.
Uggla has pushed technology innovation since he co-founded Markit to be a source eventually the dominant one of definitive prices for credit derivatives. Spun out of TD Bank Financial Group in 2003, London- and New Yorkbased Markit grew in tandem with the popularity of credit default swaps and, when they became a regulatory concern, worked with Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. and other infrastructure bodies on risk-mitigating solutions.
Yet derivatives-related data is just 15 percent of Markits business, says the London-based Uggla, 48. He believes the company can expand significantly by enhancing transparency across asset classes, as in a May initiative to report equity volumes on European trade crossing systems, and efficiency in post-trade processing. Profitable through the downturn, Markit got a vote of confidence in January when private equity firm General Atlantic took a 7.5 percent stake that valued the company at $3 billion.
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