July 21, 2008

After years of developing technology to monitor different risk metrics in a capital markets firm and never being able to find an off-th-shelf application that could monitor all systems, Trent Gavazzi decided to build the technology himself.

Gavazzi, most recently a managing director and head of business solutions at BMO Capital Markets and a 2005 (then with Harris Nesbitt) and 2006 Gold Book honoree, founded consolidated risk management alert software provider QuickWaters Software last year.

Being part of the action inside a Wall Street firm is what Gavazzi misses most since he left to found his own company. "I used to love the challenges of the newer products and changing markets. It was an opportunity to think strategically to help develop new products. I now have to insert myself into the [industry's] flow by reaching out and speaking to a lot of people. But when you are in a firm you are automatically in the flow."

While he misses the action on Wall Street, Gavazzi doesn't miss the corporate politics of being inside of a firm. "I don't miss the work that is not related to serving clients and growing revenue. There is a lot of overhead that comes with being in a financial services firm. Now, as the head of QuickWaters, I can really stretch my legs and can make my own decisions."

And by making a move to CEO, Gavazzi feels this will help him break the CIO mold. "I didn't want to be the CIO that most firms think they need," he says. "The significant majority of CIOs are break and fix guys. I want to move more to a front office, revenue-generating role. I knew I had to make this step at this point in this career and take the risk to move forward."

Greg MacSweeney is editorial director of InformationWeek Financial Services, whose brands include Wall Street & Technology, Bank Systems & Technology, Advanced Trading, and Insurance & Technology.