INTRODUCING: The 10 people transforming finance

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Business Insider Business Insider named 10 finance executives to our list of the 100 people transforming business. The list includes t he first female president of the New York Stock Exchange, a founder building Wall Street’s new operating system, and an exec disrupting JPMorgan. See the full list of the 100 people transforming business here.
Technology is quickly upending the finance industry and companies have no choice but to disrupt, or be disrupted. From banks like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs to nearly 300-year old asset managers like Bank of New York Mellon, Wall Street’s using tech like blockchain, artificial intelligence, and big data to transform existing businesses.
They’re also competing head-to-head with smaller, nimbler startups in new areas like digital wealth management, payments and lending.
We picked 10 leaders across finance who are transforming Wall Street by offering new ways to trade, invest, buy homes, make payments, and provide deals advice. Profiles compiled by Dakin Campbell, Dan DeFrancesco, Meghan Morris, and Alex Morrell. Emmanuel Aidoo, head of digital asset markets at Credit Suisse, is using blockchain to transform banking source Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
To disrupt a business, one must first truly understand it. Emmanuel Aidoo fits the bill.
His past roles as global head of debt capital markets technology, global head of leverage finance technology, and global head of solutions delivery all involved streamlining complex processes.
“I describe myself as a build-the-factory person versus a run-the-factory person,” Aidoo said. “I’m the person you get in to do some kind of transformation, and that is what I find most interesting.”
Aidoo’s latest efforts have been focused on leveraging the potential of blockchain technology, which he first learned about after reading the Ethereum white paper in late 2014 at the recommendation of a friend. He now leads the Swiss banks’ initiatives in the technology, working on use cases looking to improve the settlement of everything from US cash equities to loans.
This year should prove to be critical for the nascent technology.
“It’s less about which firms are getting behind it and it is much more about, ‘Well, show me the business case,” Aidoo said. “Show me it works in real life, not on a piece of paper. I think that is where we are right now.” Stacey Cunningham, NYSE president, is championing cutting-edge tech while preserving tradition source Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
It’s not easy being No. 1. Whether it’s market participants complaining about fees, the threat of dark pools stealing more liquidity, or new requirements and pilot projects from regulators, running NYSE is the equivalent of fighting a battle across many fronts.
And yet Stacey Cunningham has managed it all in her first year at the helm of the exchange. Cunningham took over in May 2018 after three years as its chief operating officer.
In her new role, Cunningham has had to balance maintaining some of the traditions that make NYSE unique, such as the human touch of its designated market makers, while welcoming in cutting-edge technology to keep the exchange at the forefront of the ever-changing equities market.
Beyond the various changes she’s looking to foster at the exchange, Cunningham represents disruption in another way: She’s the first female president of NYSE.
“I think the best thing I can do for women is to effectively run this business and have them see that women can succeed in running a business as well,” Cunningham said. “If you focus on executing, that is actually going to be the best thing you can do for your career.” Mazy Dar, founder and CEO of OpenFin, is trying to create Wall Street’s new operating system source Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
As employee No. 17 at an electronic-trading platform for derivatives, Mazy Dar would walk around trading floors wondering why traders weren’t using his tech. The answers he got back – enterprise IT bottlenecks, security concerns, yearlong software cycles – sparked his entrepreneurial bug.
So when he left that job almost a decade ago, Dar set out to design what has become a new operating system for Wall Street.
Designed to sit one layer above a computer’s native OS, OpenFin is a platform where software applications can be deployed safely, seamlessly, and, perhaps most important, in today’s ever-changing world, quickly.
It allows traders and portfolio managers to begin using a collection of apps in a way that begins to look and feel like the experience consumers have come to expect from their mobile devices. “We want the experience on the financial desktop to feel more like our phones,” Dar says.
The tech is now deployed at 1,500 firms, including 15 of the top 20 global banks. And the startup is now building a digital storefront to make it easier to discover the hundreds of apps already available through OpenFin.
Above all, Dar says OpenFin is playing a leading role in bringing Wall Street workstations into the 21st ...