Nasdaq bids to become one of the world's leading technology organisations

Nasdaq bids to become one of the world's leading technology organisations

Nasdaq OMX is to combine its Market Technology and Corporate Solutions businesses in an effort to reduce its reliance on stagnating stock market volumes and build "one of the top technology organisations in the world".

The new business unit - rebadged as Global Technology Solutions - will be led by EVP and current Nasdaq CIO Anna Ewing. It will operate as a dedicated, stand-alone software and technology management business with the scale necessary to pitch against other leading tech outfits like SunGard and Fidessa.

Treated as a separate reporting segment, the business is expected to generate $500 million in annual revenues.

Nasdaq's Market Technology business currently provides technology and advisory services to over 70 marketplaces, clearing organisations and central securities depositories in over 50 countries as well as risk management and surveillance solutions to financial services firms. Corporate Solutions provides public and private companies with a portfolio of products and services for communicating with stakeholders. It is currently closing a $390 million deal to acquire Thomson Reuters' investor relations, public relations and multimedia services units, which will open up access to 7000 new clients worldwide.

Bob Greifeld, president and CEO, Nasdaq OMX, says: "We have achieved unprecedented scale in technology services. We intend to continue to build this leading franchise into one of the top technology organisations in the world and this reorganisation reflects our focus and commitment to this exciting and growing segment of our business."

To manage technology within the core exchange business, the company has appointed former eBay and Charles Schwab CIO as global chief information officer, reporting in to Ewing.

Says Ewing: "Brad...will lead a global team responsible for enhancing our technology products and services by helping to create innovative new business opportunities, extend our technology platforms and drive efficiencies. His priority will be to enable a better experience for our customers, partners and employees."

Comments: (3)

Carrie Bekker
Carrie Bekker - Bekker Compliance Consulting Partners, LLC - Porter Ranch, Los Angeles, California Usa 18 January, 2013, 01:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

OK, this may be just my perception, but wouldn't this present a conflict of interest and perhaps be self serving from NASDAQ's perspective.  I recall the Enron/Worldcom, et al, where accounting firms could no longer provide consulting services under the same moniker, which resulted in (now) Big 4 consulting firms which were supposedly independent from the auditing arm, even though the corporate culture was identical.

I am not familiar with the regulatory approvals involved with this type of expansion, but it seems to me that this type of arrangement puts the fox in charge of the henhouse.  OK, so this clearly falls outside the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, but really, NASDAQ is a stock exchange and also wants to branch out into tech solutions?  Gimme a break!  As far as I'm concerned, this doesn't pass the smell test.




Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 18 January, 2013, 18:15Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The conflict of interest can't be denied but Deutsche Boerse IT has been doing this for years. According to its website, it "runs 30 marketplaces and exchanges ... for other ... exchanges around the world."

Piet Van de Velde
Piet Van de Velde - Gent, Belgium and Bordeaux, France - Gent 24 January, 2013, 09:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Smart move and not dissimilar to what we have seen other exchange combinations doing in the past. When Bob acquired OMX he made no secret from the fact that one of the main reasons for the acquisition was the OMX technology (and their technology footprint in the industry). First he consolidated the technology within the group and now he seems ready to truly expand into external sales (which have continued all along, but in subsidiary order to the own technology consolidation). NASDAQ OMX seems ready now to leverage their investments in technology and expand from their footprint in trading technology and (to a lesser extent) clearing and settlement technology into the more lucrative added value services technology. I would suggest they would greatly benefit of using other technology providers' enabling technology and concentrate on the development of business funtion to fully reap the benefits of this huge potential.

When Duncan took the helm of NYSE Euronext he was the first to tell the financial analysts (was it back in 2009?) they should no longer rate NYSE Euronext as a financial institution but as a technology company and he set rather ambitious objectives to the newly established NYSE Technologies which he reintegrated within the NYSE Euronext group, ambitions which have not been met since, although NYSE remains a very strong player in the market.

Deutsche Börse, which already had a longstanding tradition of selling technology (mainly trading technology) to other exchanges, using both the external license model (e.g. sellling a license of the last generation EUREX trading system to the Shanghai Stock Exchange) and the hosting operations model (such as for Wiener Börse and the Irish Stock Exchange). Obviously they learned from the due diligence with NYSE Euronext and have collapsed two entities into one, more sales focused organization which should enable them to take advantage of their newly developed trading systems and other technology assets. They have adopted a smarter methodology in using enabling technology instead of trying to develop it all and have been focusing instead on the more lucrative business function development (which they know best)

The key to success for these intitiatives to truly deliver on the revenue and profit expectations will be to create a proper sales and support structure and to consistently use best-of-breed enabling technology to being able to focus on what they know best: business funtion.

Good luck to all!   Piet