By Wall Street and Technology
18 July 2006
Now in its second year, Wall Street & Technology’s annual Gold Book is dedicated to the most forward-thinking and influential CIOs from financial firms – large and small, buy side and sell side. This year’s Gold Book also includes profiles of seven IT leaders from exchanges, including the NYSE, Nasdaq, Amex and CME. With all of the market structure changes taking place, we think it is important to shed some light on what the CIOs at exchanges are doing with their technology, since everyone ultimately needs to connect to the exchanges – either directly or through a partner. Each profile offers a look at some of the technology executives’ priorities, budgets, predictions, best practices and much more.
Chief Technology Officer
11 Wall St.
New York, NY 10005
SIZE OF FIRM:
Market capitalization of $10.4 billion.
Archipelago Holdings, CTO; NextCard, CIO; AdKnowledge, CIO; Fidelity Investments, VP of corporate management information systems.
B.S., M.S. and Ph.D in chemistry and M.B.A. from the University of Illinois. M.S. in computer science from DePaul University.
WHO WAS YOUR MENTOR?
One thing that sticks in my mind is something that my father told me a million times if he told me once — the importance of good communications skills. He always reminded me that if you weren’t a good communicator, you were going to have a substantial disadvantage. No matter what the title of your job, you’re always a salesperson.
WHAT WORK EXPERIENCE HAS HAD THE MOST LASTING IMPRESSION ON YOUR CAREER?
The experience that I had working in Silicon Valley in start-ups really helped me to understand how good I was at what I do. Working in a smaller environment where time to market is critical, where you have to do 10 jobs and you have to do them all well, is a really good experience for fine-tuning what you do.
LAST GOOD BOOK READ:
“Origin of Wealth,” by Eric Beinhocker.
Top 3 Current Projects
Rollout of the Hybrid Market
The most important thing that we’re working on is the continued rollout of the Hybrid. The objective is to roll out everything this year, but there have been pieces rolled out through the course of the year, and we will continue to go at a pace that is appropriate.
New Options Platform
The NYSE Arca options platform is rolling out in a very short time. That was inherited from the acquisition of the Pacific Exchange in 2005. It’s an options exchange platform that really is a successor to what the Pacific Exchange had in PCX Plus. We’re shaping it in the architecture of an equities and bonds platform.
We’re improving, expanding and adding features to current systems. There’s operational improvements, functional improvements, regulatory changes. That’s an everyday kind of thing. Not only do we have to keep those things running, but we have to be sure that they’re improving so we can be as current with our offerings to the marketplace as anyone else.
The Manhattan Project
We’re taking a step back and seeing how we combine all these things that we do at NYSE and NYSE Arca to determine how we can have the architecture that we want to have for as many years into the future as one can plan systems. There’s a parallel to the original Manhattan Project in bringing together a bunch of smart people from different corners of the world and putting them in one spot and saying, “Here’s your job. It’s really hard, and it has to be done quickly.” Most of the deliverables from this project will occur in 2007.
Size of Technology Team:
Percent of IT Projects Outsourced:
Less than 10 percent.
Key Technology Partners:
In terms of hardware, HP and Sun Microsystems.
For some projects we have a good estimate of what the ROI will be and we measure it. For others, the metrics are softer than that: We have an idea of what it’s going to accomplish, we put it out there, and if we have a sense that it did what it needed to do, then we’re happy with that. And last, but certainly not least, is customer reaction.
Vision: The Next Big Thing
Where algorithmic trading is going to go and how sophisticated people are going to get is fascinating. In trying to consolidate multiple products into one platform, we will make it easier for the algorithmic traders to do some creative things.
From a pure technology standpoint, everybody wants things to be faster, cheaper and more consistent, and there are some hardware start-ups that have caught my attention recently. Fabric7 and PANTA Systems are building servers that are designed for very high transaction rates and getting the transaction through the box as quickly as possible. They’re supposedly better than what you can buy off the shelf right now. The story sounds good so far.