Trading Technology 40

FINRA CIO Among Top Trading Technology Visionaries

Self-Taught
leader

Steve Randich

Steve Randich started managing a few months into his first job as a software engineer after graduating from Northern Illinois University. He has been managing ever since; including four CIO gigs prior FINRA – one with The Chicago Stock Exchange followed by NASDAQ, then two with Citigroup. He says his addition to Institutional Investor’s 2015 Trading Tech 40 helps FINRA’s organizational pride which translates to higher levels of productivity and better camaraderie. “Good morale helps everything,” he said.

Technology innovation is in our heritage. The same can be said for FINRA CIO, Steve Randich, who was recently awarded a place in Institutional Investor’s 2015 Trading Technology 40 – a group of top technology visionaries and innovators in the financial trading industry.

“Having a profile in a periodical like Institutional Investor Magazine, where the message is ‘FINRA is a Technology leader and innovator’ helps makes the case that we are an effective regulator,” said Randich. “Regulation and surveillance can’t be done effectively without sophisticated technology and electronic processing.”

Randich’s interest in technology started early. As a student, he had daily access to state-of-the-art computer labs through an afterschool program at his father’s workplace, AT&T’s Bell Telephone Laboratories Bell Labs is the birthplace of the transistor, laser, fax machines, solar cells and more. in Lisle, Illinois. A self-described preordained computer science geek, he graduated high school as a BASIC programmer just as schools were beginning to develop computer science programs. “In that era, that was nerdy,” Randich said.

Randich, FINRA’s Executive VP, oversees the Registration and Disclosure Division. He also manages 1,100 technologists in FINRA’s New York, Chicago and Rockville, Maryland offices, and learned of his No. 18 Trading Technology 40 rank when he started receiving congratulatory emails. He sees this award, and the others that FINRA has received since he joined as the CIO, as a way for FINRA to recruit top talent. “Tech people want to work where technology is not only important, but actually being used in ways that are innovative and transforming the business,” he says.

Embracing
big data

FINRA is a significant player in the world of big data and cloud computing. We process up to 60 billion market events per day. “We crunch, store and surveil massive amounts of data in a very economical and efficient way,” said Randich. “Big data has a bit of hype associated with it because of the elusiveness of the ability to monetize it. But the proven ability to collect, crunch and surveil it is where we benefit.”

Open Source Commitment

FINRA Technology transforms how we do business with our commitment to open source and cloud computing. Our technologists aggressively contribute to and utilize open source software and packages, such as Apache Hadoop, Drupal, Hbase, Tomcat, Spring, Memcached, MySQL, Angular, Karma, Jasmine, Bower, Grunt, jBPM and projects from the Eclipse Foundation among others.

Open source technology and vendor agnostic solutions through Amazon Web Services (AWS) are what allow FINRA CIO Steve Randich to eliminate proprietary dependencies and mitigate vendor lock in, reducing costs by 40 percent. “Technology has a significant role in reducing costs through automation of manual processing,” said Randich.

FINRA has been at the forefront of technology, ahead of most private sector companies, using open source as a part of our platform redevelopment – moving our market monitoring applications to modern big data platforms in the cloud where massive amounts of data are processed – up to 60 billion market events per day. “When you use the cloud combined with the big data software, you can scale to process massive amounts of data in a way that is economical,” said Randich.

Self-Taught
leader

Steve Randich

Steve Randich started managing a few months into his first job as a software engineer after graduating from Northern Illinois University. He has been managing ever since; including four CIO gigs prior FINRA – one with The Chicago Stock Exchange followed by NASDAQ, then two with Citigroup. He says his addition to Institutional Investor’s 2015 Trading Tech 40 helps FINRA’s organizational pride which translates to higher levels of productivity and better camaraderie. “Good morale helps everything,” he said.

Embracing
big data

FINRA is a significant player in the world of big data and cloud computing. We process up to 60 billion market events per day. “We crunch, store and surveil massive amounts of data in a very economical and efficient way,” said Randich. “Big data has a bit of hype associated with it because of the elusiveness of the ability to monetize it. But the proven ability to collect, crunch and surveil it is where we benefit.”