"With both our EU clearing and interest rate swaps derivative market, we work collaboratively with our global team, and we bring in the expertise needed for each project," explains Neidenbach. "You would be surprised by the amount of expertise our tech teams have in this area. Nasdaq OMX leverages the innovation the tech team can provide. They've been building these kinds of products for years."
In contrast, Neidenbach's work with eSpeed required a different approach. "It is a new business for us, although we've had experience trading similar products," she says. "What's exciting is the collaboration between our business and tech teams. One understands how to provide competitive technology for this asset class, while the other understands low-latency trading. We can work together to increase market share and revenue, and lower latency. It's a very collaborative management style."
Fortify The Code
Before Nasdaq can expand its business and trade technology, the firm must attend to the cutthroat competition in the traditional U.S. and European markets. In many ways Nasdaq has excelled in this endeavor and built a reputation for delivering high tech to the markets. But as Neidenbach's robust responsibilities demonstrate, the market is evolving and encountering new challenges. While Nasdaq is going to great lengths to stay ahead and be prepared, reliable functions are sometimes tested in unexpected ways.
Two events come to mind. The most recent, a mid-August software bug in the Securities Industry Processor, which consolidates and disseminates all prices for the industry, halted trading for three hours, although it was remedied within 30 minutes. It has been described as being triggered by a connectivity problem with rival NYSE Arca, and Nasdaq has publicly taken responsibility for the halt.
The second, and by far the most recognized, is last year's Facebook IPO fiasco. The social media site of the people was slated to be the stock of the people, and rarely had an initial public offering gathered so much attention from both Wall Street and Main Street investors. With an unprecedented level of trading activity, Nasdaq had a malfunction in the software responsible for processing order cancellations, causing issues with the dissemination of opening calls and trade confirmations.
Following the snafu, Neidenbach says, Nasdaq had to make some technology changes to support the IPO, and a lot of the heavy lifting was directed toward building a more robust delivery process. Nasdaq later went through a series of tests that simulated the IPO and other large-capacity scenarios. Neidenbach explains that these tests aren't just for function, but also reliability and rigor around the delivery process. Results are being shared with regulators.
"The whole industry is reviewing these type of scenarios, and it's evolving how testing is conducted. The industry is approaching it from a worst-case scenario and constantly adding protections," Neidenbach adds.
Senior VP, head of Nasdaq OMX Market Systems, Nasdaq OMX
Previous positions: Neidenbach has spent more than 20 years at Nasdaq OMX, including serving as CIO/COO for Nasdaq Europe, head of global products and services for market technology, and VP for application services. She has also served as managing director-electronic trading technology for Citi and COO for Lava Trading.
Education: Neidenbach is a graduate of the Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University. She holds a BS degree in management information systems.
Who influenced you the most in your career? "Al Berkeley, who as CEO of Nasdaq led the exchange's transformation from a utility exchange to a world-renowned brand. Al took the time to listen to all team members and strongly encouraged innovation. "
What work experience had the most long-lasting effect on your career? "Starting up and closing down the European exchange. It was an entrepreneurial experience in which I learned every aspect of running a company."
What do you do to relax? "Read books on the beach. There's nothing like a good suspense story to get my mind off of work and unwind."
What's one thing most people would be surprised to learn about you? "As a teenager and young adult I was a competitive ski racer. I mastered many of the basic skills that would serve me well in my career -- a strong sense of focus, determination and the ability to plan for the unexpected."
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