CEO of the Year: Bob Santella, IPC
Bob Santella of IPC won CEO of the Year in the 2020 Markets Choice Awards.
What was your reaction to winning CEO of the Year?
It is a privilege to be recognized as “CEO of the Year” in the 2020 Markets Choice Awards. I thank all the market participants who voted for me, distinguished industry leaders and the MCA Advisory Board for this extraordinary honor. I also recognize that the 2020 nominees for the prestigious “CEO of the Year” award included some of the industry’s most renowned and respected leaders. Their accomplishments and track records of success are well-documented and inspirational.
Ultimately, however, my first reaction was to appreciate each member of the IPC family for supporting me through their dedication, perseverance and hard work.
What have been your main accomplishments since being appointed CEO of IPC in 2018?
The last two years marked some very important milestones for IPC. First, we entered into several strategic partnerships that have acted as multipliers for the firm and our industry-leading solutions. Our most significant partnership, announced in August 2019, is with Cloud9 Technologies, a leader in cloud-based communications. Together, IPC and Cloud9 are now offering the global financial markets a unified cloud-based solution for connectivity, mobility, advanced data analytics and business continuity planning. Jerry Starr, CEO of Cloud9, and I celebrated this game-changing partnership between our two firms by ringing the Nasdaq Stock Market Closing Bell on September 17, 2019.
Second, IPC has demonstrated a deep commitment to customer success by making significant investments in some of the most advanced areas of ‘fintech.’ I have two important examples. We invested in Natural Language Processing specialist GreenKey Technologies to jointly build a transformative solution that digitizes voice trading, enabling better analysis and automation of workflows. This is a remarkable feat of engineering as trading is fast-paced, uses unique terminology, and often occurs in noisy environments. We have also integrated our Connexus Cloud global financial ecosystem with multiple cryptocurrency and digital asset information sources and trading platforms such as CME, ICE, Cboe, ZOOZBIT and Omniex.
Third, we have driven IPC’s digital transformation by providing customers with a frictionless experience in the consumption of services through flexible subscription models. IPC has combined the power of a subscription-based model with an ever-growing and evolving networked community of global financial markets participants, to create a market-leading value proposition for our clients.
Last, IPC remains a bedrock of stability amid the ongoing global health crisis, and we continue our vital role to ensure that the financial markets function smoothly.
How do you connect your own individual success with organizational success?
Personally or organizationally, the most successful business strategy is always putting the customer first. And you do that by creating a culture of hard work, transparency, responsiveness and integrity.
One of the things that inspires me the most about IPC is that we’ve formalized this ideal into what we call our ‘Core 4’ values, which I live and breathe every day, as do my colleagues. These are: Be the Best ‘You’ to Create the Best ‘Us’; Work Smarter; Inspire… Aim Higher; Embrace the Customer and the Change They Create. These values are essential to how we attract, cultivate, nurture and promote our workforce, and foster a sense of belonging within our employee family.
I’m proud to say IPC has a tremendous reputation in the marketplace because customers want to work with us, which I directly attribute to these values.
What does the future hold for IPC?
I am extremely enthusiastic about the future of IPC. At a high level, our team embraces success, but I always say that it’s easier to get to the top of the mountain than stay there. I constantly remind everyone that we have to work hard every day to maintain and expand our position as a global leader of trading communications and networking technology.
More granularly, we at IPC understand our customers don’t want to operate in a siloed world. They want a holistic, hassle-free experience utilizing their trading infrastructure, which is why you’ll continue to see IPC evolving into a “platforms” company and adopting an API-first approach.
Ultimately, IPC benefits from the incredibly dynamic nature of the global financial markets, particularly trading. This bodes well for IPC’s future as it will always give a customer-first organization like ours an edge.
This year's MCAs will be a special 10th-anniversary edition.
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