The 2016 Tech 50: Making Financial Services Faster, Cheaper, Bigger


Written by Jeffrey Kutler

The top financial technologists — among them, Bank of America's Catherine Bessant — leverage cloud innovations and agile software techniques to accomplish more, on a larger scale, than ever before.

Institutional Investor Tech 50 2016

Technologists in the business world set performance goals that may push their skills to the limit, but the benchmarks are simply stated: better, faster and cheaper. Those who excel in the financial services industry – including the executives, innovators and entrepreneurs spotlighted in Institutional Investor‘s
Tech 50 – are better and faster than ever before. They are applying advanced technologies that allow them to accomplish more within budget than ever before and are doing so on a large, often global, scale that has become imperative but was not feasible until recently.

Financial firms are dealing with new regulations, costs and capital pressures, and facing ever-evolving competitive challenges from both familiar peers and disruptive fintech start-ups. Yet the asset managers, banks, exchanges and other entities represented in the Tech 50 are not in retreat when it comes to information technology and innovation. Pushing forward is an operational and strategic necessity, and no less so for compliance and cybersecurity.

There are common themes up and down this 16th annual ranking: agility in software and product development; mobility to accommodate activities increasingly untethered from the traditional desktop; and cloud computing for its ubiquitous availability and immense scalability.

Tech 50 Institutional Investor

And there are blockchain reactions. Virtually everybody has one, starting at the top with Bank of America Corp. chief operations and technology officer Catherine Bessant. The second woman to be ranked No. 1 (following then-JPMorgan Chase & Co. international president Heidi Miller, in 2010), Bessant sees in the distributed ledger “the power to produce tremendous amounts of innovation.” Given that “the execution of a commercial application has not been at scale,” she says, blockchain remains “a great technology with a lot of potential.”

If anyone can speak to scale, it is Bessant, who has a tech budget of $17 billion and 110,000 employees and contractors worldwide. An indication of BofA’s innovative edge is its industry-leading 259 patents last year.

Success at scale is also evident in the continuously improving top and bottom lines of Intercontinental Exchange and CME Group, led, respectively, by career technologists Jeffrey Sprecher (No. 2) and Phupinder Gill (No. 4); and in the output of chief information officer R. Martin Chavez’s (No. 6) 11,000 engineers at Goldman Sachs Group. Meanwhile, technology sales are growing at BlackRock – COO Robert Goldstein (No. 7) says revenue of the  firm’s Aladdin solutions rose 11 percent last year, to $528 million -  and at Nasdaq, where the order backlog for market technology, a business under COO Adena Friedman (No. 8),increased 10 percent in 2015, to $788 million, as of December 31.

Tech 50 Institutional InvestorAlong with those names are the likes of IHS Markit (Lance  Uggla, No. 3), Bloomberg (Shawn Edwards and Vlad Kliatchko,No. 5), Thomson Reuters (David Craig, No. 12) and S&P Global Market Intelligence (Mike Chinn, No. 31), each in its way pushing the envelope in service to partners and clients.

At the lower end of the spectrum are examples of “niche tech”:  the application programming interfaces of Xignite (Stephane Dubois, No. 43); the HTML5 cross-platform software of OpenFin (Mazy Dar, No. 44); and data management on MongoDB from Xenomorph Software (Brian Sentance, No. 49).

The Tech 50 ranking was compiled by Institutional Investor editors and staff, with nominations and input from industry participants and experts. Four primary sets of attributes were evaluated: achievements and contributions over the course of a career; scope and complexity of responsibilities; influence and leadership inside and outside the organization; and pure technological innovation.

Of the 50 entries, 37 return from last year. The returnees’ 2015 ranks are shown, and the rest are designated “PNR” (previously not ranked).

Source: Institutional Investor


In the foreign metal market and the world of international rates, currencies play the crucial role of acting as the medium of exchange in the transactions that take place.

Currencies like the United States dollar, the Euro, or the British Pound are commonly used around the world in order to get a metal rate. Some companies that offer precious metal live and historical rates have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow developers to integrate current and historical metal rates, currency conversion, or other capabilities into their applications.

In order to know about precious metals live and historical rates, there’s a lot of APIs available online, and if you want to try one, Barchart is going to be one of your first options. But if you take a look at what else is in the market, you’ll find alternatives so many great alternatives:

Xignite Market Data Cloud Platform

Xignite Market Data as a Service was one of the first market data services built to run in AWS and they are one of the few vendors that is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner with a Financial Services Competency.

With more than a decade of cloud expertise in building, scaling and operating cloud-based market data technology, it is no surprise that leading financial services and capital markets firms rely on this company to empower their journey to the cloud. Their Metals API Service offers real-time prices and quotes for metals including Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum and other base metals. In addition to real-time precious metals prices, the service provides daily London Fixing prices as well as historical precious metal prices and metal news. 

Xignite Cloud APIs are sourced from leading providers such as FactSet and Morningstar as well as Xignite’s own curated, high-quality data.

Read the article Top 3 Alternatives for Barchart Precious Metals Rates


Each year, Bobsguide asks the market to vote for fintech companies they believe stand out from the competition – those who have gone the extra mile in terms of development and servicing their clients. Xignite is proud to be listed as the "Best API Management" vendor on the Bobsguide 2020 Rankings.

Read article on Bobsguide


Web services data provider Xignite captured the AFTAs judges’ attention on the infrastructure front with its release of Xignite Enterprise Microservices in July 2020, a suite of cloud-based microservices for data management, storage and distribution in the cloud, designed to help financial firms migrate from monolithic legacy data architectures to more agile and less expensive cloud services and data sources.

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Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today revealed the results of its collaboration with StockCharts, a leading technical analysis and financial charting platform for online retail investors. The collaboration involved a move from an on-premise market data provider to Xignite’s cloud-native technology hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Download the case study containing the full results.

StockCharts requires vast quantities of financial data to power its visualization, charting and tracking tools, which investors use to analyze the markets to help with investment decisions. The company was frustrated by the limits of its on-premise market data center, which was forcing the team to make architectural decisions based on what its data center could handle in terms of speed and storage, not on their technology. Its previous market data provider was just starting to build out some cloud offerings, but they were far away from what the business required. StockCharts decided to migrate its infrastructure to the AWS cloud and partner with Xignite to gain access to endlessly scalable market and financial data delivered through innovative cloud APIs.

The collaboration made an immediate impact as StockCharts was able to expand its offerings and customer base by pursuing growth strategies enabled by Xignite’s cloud-based approach, which provides easy access to data and eliminates architectural limits on storage and speed.

The pandemic provided further validation. Seattle-based StockCharts was in one of the first areas hit by COVID-19 and was forced to quickly shut down its office. Pandemic-driven market volatility followed and StockCharts customers wanted to visualize what was happening. The company’s ability to scale quickly and accommodate a high volume of new requests would not have been possible without Xignite.

“The move to the AWS cloud and Xignite has unlocked tremendous new potential for us in a lot of architectural ways, and has given us a lot of data options that we could not even consider before,” said Grayson Roze, Vice President of Operations at StockCharts. “It relieved us of the burden of figuring out how to source things. Instead, we know exactly where we need to go to get the data and can access it instantly. That is a huge, huge benefit for our business.”

“We are proud to have played a role in transforming how StockCharts approaches data,” said Stephane Dubois, CEO and Founder of Xignite. “The events of this year unleashed a massive spike in retail trading and a host of other unexpected forces that reinforced the need for financial services firms to leverage the cloud. Despite the disruption of this year, StockCharts was positioned for success, and we look forward to continuing to deliver our financial and market data solutions to the industry at large.”


Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2006 when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has been continually refining its technology to help fintech and financial institutions get the most value from their data. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage a suite of specialized microservices-delivered modules to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit or follow on Twitter @xignite