New CEO Leads Fame in a Different Direction
With a new leader at the helm, Fame Information Services, a provider of data-management technology, is charting a course to better serve its customers and deliver its products effectively. Recently appointed chief executive officer Dale Richards has set forth a new organizational strategy, replacing Fame's previous vertical market-specific divisions, which separately serviced the financial markets and the energy sectors.
Moving forward, Fame operations will be divided according to functional responsibilities. "We will still have market-segmentation strategies and specialists," explains Richards, "but we're not going to have two completely separate business divisions in that way." Under the new structure, Neil Edelstein will be responsible for global sales and marketing for the energy and financial markets, while Dominic Innaccone will be responsible for global software development and operations in both segments. Fame's current chief financial officer, Paul Mattison, will oversee the consulting services.
In addition to its continuing solutions-based approach, Fame also plans to focus on outsourced market-data-management services. "In the last 10 or 15 years, a lot of firms have built up their own proprietary infrastructures and spent a lot of money," he adds. "And recently, partially based on cost savings and (the fact that) it's no longer really a competitive advantage, they are switching from the do-it-yourself solution to vendor provided and managed solutions."
Those cost savings, as well as a move toward straight-through processing are the main factors driving Fame's realignment and focus on outsourcing, says Richards, who succeeds Gerald Mintz. "The consistent data model across the company is something that all of our clients are thinking actively about."
Goldman Executive Launches Investment Firm for Financial Tech Vendors
Steve McLaughlin, a former senior investment banker in Goldman, Sachs & Co.'s Financial Technology Group, has formed Financial Technology Partners LLC, an investment-banking firm focused on providing strategic and financial-advisory services for the financial-technology sector.
McLaughlin says that his firm can help financial-technology vendors decide where to take their business because his staff has a deep background in the field. "When you spend your life talking to all the companies in this sector, you become an expert in strategy."
"We know every business line, every competitor, every issue facing the CEOs of companies that we work with," says McLaughlin.
Financial Technology Partners works with firms that have a minimum of $25 million in revenue and are looking to raise at least that much either through venture capital or an IPO. The firm, however, does not do underwriting, only providing advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions advisory, private capital-raising assistance, financial restructurings, valuation services and fairness opinions."We give advice to firms that are looking to acquire or to be acquired. They look to us for the knowledge of who is out there and whether their strategy fits their business," he says.
Former Waterhouse Securities Chief Named CFO of Hotspot FX
Hotspot FX, an electronic-communications network targeted at foreign-exchange traders, has hired Bernie Siegel as its chief financial officer. Siegel, who has also held such posts at Waterhouse Securities and Wit Capital Group during his career in the financial-services industry, will have oversight of Hotspot's financial activities and regulatory obligations.
"This is not a plain vanilla CFO-type role," he explains. "We just became registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is really important, so I'll be involved with compliance." Noting that he took his post at Hotspot in early April, Siegel says he also expects to work directly with the ECN's sales, marketing, technology and strategic-alliance personnel.
Siegel describes Hotspot as a "very nimble" foreign-exchange trading-systems vendor that knows what traders want, saying he decided to join after researching the company. "I've tested Hotspot's ECN product myself, and spoke to people in the business, and they thought it was terrific," he says.
Prior to joining Hotspot, Siegel served as the chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Yazam, a start-up international-venture fund. Siegel, who also worked as the company's chief executive officer for a short period of time, says that his experience at start-ups like Yazam and Wit Capital has helped prepare him for his role at Hotspot. " I think I can add a lot of value in a lot of different areas, (including) helping the company build its infrastructure," he says.