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31 Howard Lutnick

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
BGC Partners

BGC Partners is a venerable interdealer brokerage, bearing the initials of B. Gerald Cantor, who founded Cantor Fitzgerald in 1945. But the entity is only seven years old and represents a return to voice brokering after Cantor and its high-tech spin-off ESpeed were devastated by the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Today, BGC and ESpeed are together — a $1.3 billion-in-revenue enterprise — as a result of a 2008 merger, just one of many feats of financial engineering by Cantor and BGC (and former ESpeed) CEO Howard Lutnick. He oversees a technology staff of 475 and more than $1 billion worth of investments in proprietary technology over the past decade. “We’ve been relentless in creating electronic marketplaces around the world,” says Lutnick, 49, an owner of multiple patents who began developing the technological nucleus of   ESpeed in the mid-1990s and took that venture public in 1999. From four electronic products in mid-2007, BGC now boasts more than 75. Average daily e-brokered notional volumes were about 85 percent higher in the first quarter of 2011 than in last year’s fourth quarter. First-­quarter revenue related to fully electronic trading grew 25 percent year-over-year, to $39.1 million, or 10.7 percent of operating revenues.