By Peter High, published on Forbes
Chris Corrado has been an IT leader at many esteemed financial services companies such as Morgan Stanley, UBS, Merrill Lynch, and Deutsche Bank. He has also held CIO and CTO roles at technology companies such as eBay, AT&T Wireless, and Asurion. Along the way, his purview has grown from traditional CIO responsibilities to non-traditional ones, such as product development. Currently, he serves as the Chief Information Officer and Chief Operations Officer at the London Stock Exchange Group, a $2.2 billion British-based stock exchange and financial information company. It is headquartered in London.
He notes that CIOs need to be much more cognizant of the “I” In their title. Information is the key to garnering better insights on behalf of the company and its customers. Those CIOs who harness information effectively will take on greater and more strategic responsibilities. Corrado is optimistic that more CIOs will follow in his footsteps to become COOs.
Peter High: Chris, you are the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Operating Officer of the London Stock Exchange Group. Please provide a brief overview of the organization and explain your purview.
Chris Corrado: The London Stock Exchange Group is a collection of complementary businesses. We have a core strategy called Open Access, which reflects our philosophy of transparency and choice. The Group directly runs the London Stock Exchange and the Borsa Italiana. We provide the infrastructure, operations, and technology for the Oslo Stock Exchange. We also run clearinghouses and information businesses that produce indexes and analytics. The firm has experienced remarkable growth since Xavier Role became CEO, in 2009. The existing businesses have grown significantly and we have made 22 acquisitions. Today, the Group is comprised of diversified and complimentary businesses that provide a robust value chain that enables our clients to manage their investment processes. To achieve this goal, we maximize cost effectiveness, time to market and the quality of information. Technology is the fulcrum of this.
There are some unique aspects of the firm that, in turn, make my role as the CIO unique. For example, we sell hosting services because our customers want their technology in our datacenters because this makes our services more robust and less latent. The hosting services fall under me. When Xavier took over, he realized that technology is critical to what we do. However, he was not satisfied with the performance of our technology, which was being outsourced pretty significantly. Since his focus is on time-to-market, we bought technology companies. The companies have maintained their existing clients and have grown their client base as commercial enterprises. We have scaled and stabilized them internally. These fall under me as well. As we continue, I will touch on some other aspects of my position. As an overview, my role is running the company day-to-day operationally, and helping to determine the best client experience for our customers, by leveraging our capabilities.
High: It seems like the best CIOs are thinking about their job more along the lines of being a chief operating officer of technology, as opposed to the traditional order-taking, back office type of role it once was. Do you see this as a natural evolution for a strong CIO?