FlexiSphere, a cloud computing company specifically focused on the financial services community, today announced the completion of its management team and move to a growth phase with the addition of Bob DeSantis as President and Chief Operating Officer.
DeSantis joins Founder and Chief Executive Officer Tom Saleh, a renowned financial technology entrepreneur; Topher Wurts, Chief Marketing Officer; Ken Byrne, Executive Vice President, Sales; Susan Grommes, Senior Vice President, Professional Services; and Rich Shapp, Vice President, Operations and Technology.
"I believe we have assembled the best management team to seize upon the great promise FlexiSphere's innovation holds," said Saleh. "I've worked on technology which settles into the ecosystem of financial services and goes on to dominate the landscape. Cloud computing, however, stands to become the very ecosystem from which financial technology will draw upon for infinite, on-demand computing resources at a lower total cost of ownership."
Since forming in August of 2009, the company has been working with top financial services clients in FlexiSphere's Cloud Laboratories to test high performance / low latency data-paths. Prototype solutions developed so far have been able to bring together content and software applications in an environment which supports performance and flexibility.
Prior to FlexiSphere, Saleh founded Erevu, a software company focused on extending the concept of "Policy Based Management" to the business process level; led an investor group in acquiring the network services division of ADP; and founded American Real Time Services (ARTS), which developed and operated Information delivery networks for bulge bracket firms; XNET Corp., which developed the first fully automated financial futures and commodities exchange; and Applied Logic, He founded Applied Logic, an early provider of Virtual Private Network Services.
Throughout his career, DeSantis has been a leader in building and growing communications, energy and technology companies and arranging for their successful initial public offerings and/or other liquidation events. He has extensive private and public company capital markets, operating, and M&A expe experience, and many senior level contacts within the financial services, technology and communications industries.
He joins FlexiSphere after serving as Chief Financial Officer of Plainfield Asset Management LLC's $5 billion multi-strategy hedge funds, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), where he led the FAF/FASB XBRL financial reporting taxonomy development initiative, and in senior officer positions at broadband network, internet service, and network switching equipment companies. Prior to his involvement with these financial services, network, and technology businesses, DeSantis was the Chief Financial Officer at Citizens Communications (now Frontier Corp) for 15 years, a Tax Attorney with GTE Corp and an auditor at KPMG LLP.
Wurts previously served as Chief Marketing Officer at Liquidnet, a leading electronic trading venue for buy side investors. Prior to joining Liquidnet, he held several senior roles at Reuters Holdings including: EVP Marketing for Reuters America leading the redesign of the go-to-market strategy for this $1B business unit; "Executive in Residence" to the Reuters Greenhouse corporate venture group; CEO of Boardwalk, a Reuters Greenhouse investment; and VP Desktop Products for Instinet. Wurts was a key driver in Reuters acquisition and turn-around of Quotron Systems and helped transform the business from significant losses to break even in less than two years.
Byrne has held several senior executive roles at Reuters over a span of 13 years including EVP, North America where he was responsible for $650 million in revenue and EVP, Asset Management Services. He was a key leader in the integration of TIBCO software, Bridge Information Systems and Multex. After Reuters, Byrne served as EVP, Worldwide Field Operations at Calypso, the derivatives software provider; EVP, North America at Breakingviews financial commentary service (recently acquired by Reuters) and his own successful, private consulting practice.
Grommes spent 12 years at Reuters where she was the senior executive responsible for building and managing the Reuters Plus Customer Response Center. Grommes was a key driver in developing and managing the integration and support model for the acquisition of Quotron from Citibank.
Shapp was a senior manager at Goldman Sachs prior to joining FlexiSphere. There he was the global chair of the Technology Compliance Assurance Office and had global responsibility for the Investment Bank, Merchant Bank and Executive Office's Information Security Operations. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Shaap was the Area IT Security Manager for the America's at Reuters and a member of the Strategic Planning Group as well as the Technical Director for American Real Time Services (ARTS) which was acquired by Reuters in 1993. Most recently, he was EVP and CTO of AVTV Networks, a new media, entertainment content delivery company.