10 Most Powerful Women In Finance 2017: Leading The Tech Revolution At Old School Firms – Forbes

As fintech threatens to upend the financial world, these women are embracing change to grow their companies.

Although it’s home to the vast majority of tech stocks, Nasdaq until recently has operated like a traditional financial company — making money by overseeing trade transactions on its stock and bond exchanges. But as the financial technology (or fintech) revolution encroaches on Wall Street, it’s becoming increasingly clear that traditional firms must embrace technology or risk going the way of the ticker tape machine. (For full list of 10 Most Powerful Women In Finance, see next page.)

Adena Friedman, who was elevated to Nasdaq CEO in January, is clear-eyed about the challenges facing her 46-year-old trading exchange. Last quarter, revenues from new listings at Nasdaq took a 1% hit as businesses are increasingly opting for private funding over public offerings. And among the stocks that are on Nasdaq, trading hasn’t been robust. Without a boost from acquisition and currency adjustments, revenue in market services — which includes trading in equity derivatives, cash equity, fixed income and commodities — was down 2% in 2016 and is off another 1% so far this year.

Abigail Johnson, Lubna Olayan, Mary Callahan Erdoes

See Full List: 100 World’s Most Powerful Women

To offset these trends, Friedman looked at what else Nasdaq can offer and realized her company can help investors who are desperate for data and analytics. As artificial intelligence and machine learning go mainstream, investors are increasingly looking for ways to gain even a small edge through data analytics. Nasdaq is sitting on a treasure trove of capital market data. So, Friedman turned to Nasdaq’s Innovation Lab, a virtual workshop launched in 2016, to figure out how to transform its reams of raw data into statistical gold.

Last year, the lab introduced Nasdaq Trading Insights, a suite of software that lets traders compare their performance against their peers’. In May, it launched Analytics Hub, which transforms data — ranging from social media chatter to central banking statements — into signals to determine whether investors should buy or sell. A few months later, Nasdaq acquired eVestment, which can help Nasdaq attract asset managers by generating proprietary statistics on 74,000 investment instruments. The exchange is even wooing private companies with Nasdaq Private Market, technology to handle the administrative details — share buybacks or tender offers — that go along with maintaining liquidity.

“These technological innovations will provide incredible opportunities to Nasdaq,” says Friedman, “and to all of our clients as they interact with the capital markets.”

10 Most Powerful Women In Finance 2017: Leading The Tech Revolution At Old School Firms – Forbes}

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