04.30.2020
By Shanny Basar

Neidenbach Transforms LSEG To Cloud-First

There is a saying that the third time is the charm. Ann Neidenbach has returned to live in London for the third time in her role as global head of LSEG technology and chief information officer, capital markets, for London Stock Exchange Group.

Neidenbach has more than 25 years of industry expertise and joined LSEG almost two years ago.

Ann Neidenbach, LSEG

She told Markets Media: “When the opportunity at LSEG arose in 2018 it excited me because a key objective for the role was to lead the charge for a cloud-first program and transform the infrastructure.”

This is also the third time that Neidenbach has led the transformation of infrastructure to the cloud.

“I knew it would be impactful for LSEG,” she added. “This journey is different as we have had really good input from our regulators to ensure we remained safe and secure as a critical financial market infrastructure provider. The regulation has evolved to embrace the cloud and that has been very powerful.”

Neidenbach is responsible for both the infrastructure of the group’s capital markets operations including London Stock Exchange PLC, European multilateral trading facility Turquoise, and Borsa Italiana; and the Technology Products & Services division which supplies technology across the trade lifecycle to more than 40 organisations and exchanges.

She continued that LSEG is making good progress on its cloud-first approach, which is a large focus for this year and 2021.

“Turquoise Nylon was launched last year in the cloud and there are many data initiatives that present exciting opportunities,” Neidenbach added. “We will see business-led innovation with new products in the cloud.”

Turquoise Nylon brings together Turquoise SwapMatch, which matches large blocks in over-the-counter total return swaps, and Turquoise CFD.

Neidenbach continued that external clients who use LSEG  technology have shown a lot of interest in using the cloud-based platforms to benefit from greater agility and lower total cost of ownership.

“Last year AAX digital asset exchange chose to use our matching engine in the first deployment of Millennium Exchange in the cloud” she added.

Thor Chan, chief executive and co-founder of AAX, said in a statement: “LSEG Technology’s Millennium Exchange matching engine provides the performance and reliability to power AAX’s 24-hour trading platform all in a cloud-based environment. AAX is setting the standard for the next generation of cryptocurrency exchanges, offering much higher levels of trust, integrity, performance and security than has previously been available to retail and institutional investors.”

Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has restricted movement leading to staff across the financial industry having to work from home but still needing access to data and systems.

“The current environment has led to an uptick in the number of clients accelerating their move to the cloud, thereby reducing the total cost of ownership of their technology,” added Neidenbach. “We are having conversations across multiple regions and countries.”

She explained that the technology team was already very used to working remotely as they operate 24/7. As a result, the transition of LSEG to operating remotely went very smoothly.

“Recent market volatility has been extraordinary but we, and our external clients, have lots of headroom,” she said. “We are committed to resilience and have invested in the robustness and capacity of our systems.”

For example, this month the group launched a new equity clearing platform for EquityClear at LCH, the clearing arm of LSEG.

“The platform successfully processed EquityClear’s largest ever volumes with nearly 80 million trade sides cleared in the first five days of operation,” added Neidenbach.

Career

Neidenbach began her career as a junior developer and explained that she has since worked at both exchanges and banks, and so come to understand the needs of the buy side.”

Prior to joining LSEG Neidebach was chief information officer at Cowen, the investment bank. Her previous roles include being chief information officer at Nasdaq Europe and senior positions at Nasdaq Stock Market between 1986 and 2006.

“I started my career in Washington D.C. so didn’t have the traditional Wall Street experience,” she said. “I have always worked at companies that have female leaders who are very senior, highly regarded and have been great role models. I have been fortunate to have had both male and female mentors.”

She advised that it is important to build a network outside your own workplace.

“I am a full-time working mum with two kids so know it is not easy to go to evening receptions or conferences,” Neidenbach added. “However it is still important to meet people and there are online tools that now make this easier.”

Her advice is also to work hard and do your best, and that if you are passionate you will get the best results.

Diversity

Neidenbach expressed concern that the number of young women and girls pursuing studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) still needs addressing.

She continued that LSEG supports initiatives, such as Girls Who Code, as it is really important to teach techniques that spark ideas, such as building an app.

“LSEG is tremendous at including diversity as a big part of the hiring agenda,” she added,

The group has a goal to reach 40% female representation, including women in senior roles, and currently has 35% overall.

Neidenbach spoke about giving a speech at the Security Traders Association in Washington DC where the the vast majority of the audience were men.

“When executives ask how their daughters can get into the industry I tell them the answer is ‘you, as a hiring manager you can make a difference,’” said Neidenbach. “Everyone has the responsibility to increase diversity in hiring and change the dynamics of the industry.”

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