What does your company do?
We strive to bring simplicity and efficiency to a world known for its complexity, runaway costs and glacial speed. The Xignite Market Data Cloud platform is used by more than 1,000 firms, including several large financial institutions. Using our solutions, our clients are able to either build apps and platforms fueled by data sourced from our application programming interfaces (APIs) or use our platform to host their own data more efficiently, save millions in management costs and drive innovation from the inside out.
What does your job entail?
My primary job is to refine and communicate Xignite’s technology, vision, and culture, and build awareness and loyalty around our solutions. I also aim to hire and motivate the best people in the industry to maintain Xignite’s leadership in the financial technology space.
What trends are you seeing in the market?
The year 2014 has been a landmark one. For the last six years, the financial services industry has been almost exclusively focused on reducing costs and absorbing the regulatory aftershocks of the 2008 financial crisis. As a result, there has been very little innovation on Wall Street. Meanwhile, Silicon Valley (and its extensions in New York, London and Singapore) has been hard at work pivoting its way through re-inventing every segment of financial services by leveraging the benefits of the cloud, social networks and new technologies—including our APIs. These firms are doing so by targeting millennials—kids who were born with an Apple iPhone in hand and want instant gratification. So what we are seeing is not only a financial technology gold rush with start-ups trying to stake out their claims in this frontier territory, but also a stampede of larger, slower financial firms rushing to catch up. And since we essentially sell shovels to the miners and that mother lode has a long way before it gets tapped, it’s been good for us.
What do you do to unwind?
I mostly read about French politics. It’s a never-ending source of entertainment.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
The north shore of Maui because of the amazing windsurfing conditions.
What is the last personal tech gadget you bought?
A GoPro video camera.
Who is the most influential person in your business life? Why?
Howard Stern. Listening to him taught me the power of honesty.
What is your favorite book? Why?
Moral Politics by George Lakoff. It’s a great book if you want to understand and respect the political opinions of those who don’t think like you.
What was your first car?
It was Citroen 2CV. Essentially a 600cc flat-twin engine tied up to an umbrella. I made up for this initial frustration by buying a gigantic 1975 Buick Le Sabre Convertible within a week of coming to the US.
What is your favorite TV show?
I can’t seem to tire of watching old Seinfeld re-runs.
What is your favorite memory from college/childhood?
Early morning fishing trips with my dad.
If you weren’t a technologist, what would you be doing?
Playing keyboard in a Bob Marley tribute band.
Source: Waters Technology
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