04.18.2022

Bryan Harkins Finds Passion in Philanthropy

04.18.2022
Bryan Harkins Finds Passion in Philanthropy

This is the seventh in a series of articles profiling previous Markets Choice Award winners. The 10th-anniversary MCAs program will be held on May 4, 2022 in New York.

Bryan Harkins

Bryan Harkins, who won the Instinet Positive Change Award for Philanthropy at the 2019 Markets Choice Awards, currently works at Trumid, a financial technology company and electronic credit trading platform.

He joined the company in a newly created role of Chief Revenue Officer in November 2021 and before that held a variety of executive roles at Cboe Global Markets, most recently as President of the BIDS Trading subsidiary. During his time at Cboe, he led sales, product development and competitive strategy for Cboe’s equities, options, futures, FX, ETF listings and market data business. He also led the acquisition of the institutional broker dealer BIDS Trading before moving over to lead the business. Commenting on his current role, Harkins said: “It’s an exciting time in the corporate bond space as products and platforms continue to evolve. A lot more of the trading is going more electronic and that’s really what makes it quite interesting.”

On the philanthropic side, Harkins is the co-founder of Wall Street Rides FAR, an annual series of charity bike rides benefiting the Autism Science Foundation (ASF); and is on the Board of Directors at Project Hospitality, which provides sheltering and transitional housing to homeless people “to get back on their feet”.

For Harkins personally, his greatest achievement around charity is Wall Street Rides FAR. Launched in 2015 by Bryan and his wife Melissa, the event brings together professionals from across the financial services industry on a variety of routes through Westchester County, New York.

Bryan with his wife Melissa

“It’s really become a great passion of ours,” Harkins commented.

“It’s been a humbling and rewarding to experience how much the industry has come together around this cause and the amount of corporate sponsors that spend their time, money and energy giving to this cause,” he added.

Wall Street Rides FAR enjoys broad industry participation, including all of the major exchange groups.

According to Harkins, the corporate sponsor roster continues to grow every year: “We’re over 60 corporate sponsors now on a yearly basis.”

The revenues of the event continue to break records, but more importantly, it’s about the community that has been built around the cause, Harkins said, adding that he “really loves doing it”.

“It also allows me to interact with some of the best and most generous people in the industry,” he added.

The Autism Science Foundation’s mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. The organization also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. ASF adheres to rigorous scientific standards and values, believing that outstanding research is the greatest gift they can offer to families and that every research dollar needs to count.

Harkins said they have a saying at the Foundation that “hope lies in science”: “If we keep at it, I think we’ll find more and more answers.”

Harkins explained that autism is highly genetic and sometimes it’s a luck of the draw as to whether your child is afflicted by such a challenging condition. He said he has family members that are dealing with autism with their children.

“It can be really heartbreaking. Having a child that is severely impacted by autism turns your world upside down,” he stressed. “It was really that inspiration, that motivated my wife and I to get involved,” he added.

Harkins thinks that the event binds the community together; “We’ve created dear friendships in our industry and built some amazing relationships,” Harkins said.

This will be the first year that Wall Street Rides FAR has officially branched out into three locations – New York, NY; Toronto, Canada, and Baltimore, Maryland.

“We are very lucky to be surrounded by a passionate board. The geographic expansion came about due to the generosity of two particular board members who have gotten behind the cause and are bringing their network of people together,” he said.

Harkins said their vision for Wall Street Rides FAR is to continue to make it a global event.

Previous MCA Winner profiles:

Andy Brooks: From Trading to Aquaculture

Nanette J. Buziak: From Buy Side to Sell Side

William Brodsky: A Pivotal Figure in Listed Derivatives

Dan Royal: The Joy of Buy-Side Trading

Jennifer Nayar Tracks Evolving Fintech Space

Larry Thompson’s Career Advice: Keep an Open Mind

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