2015 Lifetime Achievement Award


This information is about WFIC 2015. Please use the main navigation to view information for WFIC 2017.


FISD has established a Lifetime Achievement Award in order to recognize the people who have contributed to the major developments and accomplishments of the financial information industry over the past 25 years.

2015 Nominating Committee:
Kerry Baker-Relf, Head of Content Acquisition and Rights Management, Americas, Thomson Reuters
Edmund Flynn, WFIC Conference Co-Chair - Vice President, Morgan Stanley
Michael Hodgson, Head of Information Services, Euronext
Meltem Kilicoglu, Head of Market Data Business Advisory and Compliance, Market Data Services, Wells Fargo
William Lee, Senior Market Data Advisor, Interactive Brokers
Dara Lyne, Divisional Director, Macquarie Group
Chris Pickles, Bloomberg
Alan Ross, Global Head of Market Data Services, UBS


2015 Nominees

Sara Banerjee

Sara Banerjee is Co-Chair of this World Financial Information Conference in New Orleans. She is Director, Data Strategy Execution, SIX Financial Information Ltd in Zurich, Switzerland. Sara joined SIX Telekurs USA in Stamford, CT in 1989, and has held various positions within the company. In her current position, she is responsible for global data acquisition, management of supplier portfolio, and relationship. In this role, she manages best practices for acquisition and implementation of market and reference data from dozens of global exchanges and third party contributors. Sara is additionally responsible for various strategic initiatives and projects.

Sara is actively involved in various industry initiatives, and works with groups such as the X9D (ANSI Standards) committee and the ISO standards working groups (WG 1, WG 2, WG 6, and WG 14). She also serves as co-chair of the vendor committee for the International Securities Association for Institutional Trade (ISITC). She is active in various divisions of the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and Financial Information Forum (FIF).

In addition to her other  industry activities, Sara has served in a number of leadership roles with FISD. She has served on several FISD committees since joining the group in 1994, and was elected the chair of the Executive Committee in 2001, 2002, and 2006, and vice-chair in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. She currently serves on the Executive Committee, is the co-chair of the Data Vendor Constituency Group, and has been the co-chair of the biennial World Financial Information Conference for several years.

Sara was born in Hyderabad, India, where she earned a master's degree in organizational behavior from Osmania University. After moving to the United States, she earned a master's degree in human resources management from the University of Bridgeport.

William Lee

'It started on a farm in Africa...' no, that was Meryl Streep. Bill started his working life on a farm in Massachusetts, as he believes all young people should at the age of 12. He progressed to working in a hardware store then to the glorious role of dishwasher at a HoJo's. By 16 he was in college and needing to pay tuition, so he landed the task of night biller for the MLPF&S, his first introduction to the financial securities industry. He stayed with Merrill Lynch while he got his undergraduate degree in humanities and a master's degree in Education.

In and around that, Bill worked for an auction gallery and secured a real estate broker's license. However he decided that the financial securities field was the place for his future and took a job with the Boston Stock Exchange, where he was fortunate in that he was continually promoted and given the opportunity to experience very diverse roles. He managed the cage, organized the transfer of the physical securities from the vault to the DTC (prior to their merger with NSCC). He was charged with taking on the management of the Compliance and Surveillance department for several years. But his final ten years were the most challenging as his major role was to manage the trading floor, working with members of the exchange both on and off the trading floor. Negotiating with the SEC and making adjustments to procedures as the market was changing from a manual floor to an electronic execution mode. At the same time Bill was responsible for both international relations and corporate communications.

In 1998 he joined the consulting firm Chemonics International and with them spent a year and a half in Cairo learning as much about himself as he did about the glorious country of Egypt.

Bill returned to the U.S. unscathed by Y2K and joined the investment bank Morgan Stanley & Co. His role was exchange relations for market data, a function that like the industry, was continually morphing away from the simple delivery of data to display devices, into the consumption of information from a variety of sources.

Following his 12 years with Morgan Stanley, Bill moved to JPMorgan Chase Bank, to reprise his role from Morgan Stanley and negotiate the use of data by JPMC through the development of the relationships with exchanges.

Earlier in 2015, Bill was pleased to join the market data team at Jordan & Jordan to assist their clients and help guide them through the mysteries of market data. Also in 2015 Bill had the opportunity to join Interactive Brokers and return to the Consumer Constituency Group and continue his life's ambition to improve the industry from the inside.

Bill would tell you that he cannot overstate the important contributions of the industry associations to his success in the past 40 years: FISD in all of its functions as a forum to voice differences and develop new directions, FIF that takes on all issues and carries them to successful resolution, SIMA that provides a uniform voice for all data consumers, Inside Market Data, while not an association, is the scribe of all that the industry accomplishes, and prior to his recent departure, the CTA/UTP operating committee where he served as a member for ten years and an advisor for almost as long.

Robert Leitner


Robert Leitner has 30 years of financial industry experience, primarily within the market data space (both technology and administration). He is the founder and Chairman of The Roberts Group (TRG), which he created in 1998. Over the next 16 years, TRG established itself as a global player in the financial industry, and received a strategic investment from Polaris Partners in 2014.

As the founder of TRG, Robert was initially responsible for all aspects of the business, including system of development, sales and marketing, customer support, and consulting. TRG enjoyed stable, yet rapid growth during a period which saw a major slowdown in the global economy. He performed the original design and implementation of TRG's flagship product FITS, the Financial Information Tracking System, and continues to play a vital role in the strategic development and evolution of the company.

An active and respected member of FISD, Robert has been called upon to moderate and participate on panels at key industry events, and most recently completed two years as Chairman of FISD's Business Issues Policy and Practice Standards (BIPPS) Working Group.

Prior to establishing TRG, Robert was a senior member of the market data team for UBS in the Americas, where he built an in-house system for managing market data services, reducing spend by over 30%. He also managed the relocation of UBS Asset Management, where his responsibilities included requirements definition, data center design, procurement and implementation of services, and finally the migration of the users to their new facility.

Robert has a degree in Computer Science and began his career at FD Consulting, leading large-scale systems integration projects for some of the world's largest financial institutions (including PaineWebber, Lehman Brothers, and Quick America Corporation). He developed the bond trade reporting system for Goldman Sachs in conjunction with the Big Bang in London in 1986.

Over his 30 years in the industry, Robert has acquired a rare blend of business and technical expertise that has been the foundation for significant advancements in market data administration.

Frank W. Piasecki

Frank W. Piasecki is President and Co-Founder of ACTIV Financial Systems, Inc., a real-time financial publishing technology and market data services firm. Together, with colleagues from Primark, A-T Financial Information, Inc., and ICV Ltd., Frank founded ACTIV in 2002. The company supports a global customer base across the entire spectrum of market data requirements from feeds to front ends. ACTIV has developed a platform that encompasses all trading-related content including: Real Time Market Data sourced globally and delivered locally, Reference Data, Corporate Actions, Fundamental Data and Analytics through a fully managed service model. As the only new global market data firm to have launched successfully within the past decade, ACTIV is characterized by aggressive deployment of advanced technology to wrest control over the increasing costs of market data for the Enterprise.

Previously, Frank spent 11 years at the pioneering market data vendor, A-T Financial, which developed and deployed the first networked, MS Windows-based quote terminal. He launched and directed A-T's institutional sales program as well as their global customer service group. Supporting creative and risk-taking technologists, Frank drove a customer-centric product definition process, positioning A-T as a leading innovator, offering groundbreaking digital data feed based solutions to address the fast-paced demands of the emerging electronic trading market place. A-T was sold to what is now Thomson Reuters in 1999. His previous financial information services work included the formation of SRG, Inc., a VRDO securities content management research firm. Prior to diving into the financial world, Frank worked at his father's helicopter R&D firm after graduating university, and also had a brief stint in the New York independent film production industry. Both experiences drove him to the sunnier fields of market data.

Frank has served as Director of the Rock Island Company, several non-profit foundations, and is currently serving as a Director of the Clearwater Management Company, a privately-held asset management company. Frank lives in New York City with his wife, four children two hungry dogs, and enjoys growing trees.

Dr. Lawrence C. Rafsky

Lawrence Rafsky, a recognized inventor of algorithms and methodologies used in the financial news industry, is Chairman and Chief Scientist of Acquire Media / NewsEdge. He specializes in statistical analysis and visualization of news, metadata-based search, relevance feedback and refinement, taxonomic categorization,  entity extraction, news enrichment and mark-up, plus real-time delivery of financial news and techniques for news-based trading.

Teams under his direction developed Telerate Interactive  News Search, The Wall St. Journal Interactive Edition Company Search, Dow Vision, NewsTrade, and NewsEdge v8. Custom news applications built by these teams power a variety of mission-critical applications for leading financial media and investment companies worldwide, including Advance, The FT, Market News International, Merrill Lynch, Moody's, CNBC, PR Newswire, The Press Association, Schwab, Standard & Poor's, TD Ameritrade, and Tribune.

Previously Dr. Rafsky did research on financial time series, concentrating on the connection between breaking news and securities pricing. He founded and served as President of FAME, a leader in time-based data analysis software. Earlier he held research and managerial positions at Bell Labs, Citicorp, the IDD Information Services division of Dow Jones, and ADP. At ADP he founded and led Econalyst, the joint venture between ADP and Alan Greenspan's consulting firm, Townsend Greenspan. Econalyst delivered Greenspan's forecasts, commentary, and econometric models to major corporate U.S. and UK clients.

Dr. Rafsky's publications have appeared in Econometrica, Management Science, The Annals of Statistics, and the Journal of the American Statistical Association. He won the Theory and Methods Award from The American Statistical Association for a paper on graphical methods, and his contributions to multivariate data analysis include the Friedman-Rafsky test, now considered a fundamental statistical procedure (see Dr. Rafsky has a scholar h-index of 15, a g-index of 37, and an Erdos number of 4. He holds seven U.S. Patents. He earned an AB, summa cum laude, in Statistics from Princeton, and a PhD in Statistics from Yale.

Debra Walton

A veteran of the financial services industry, Debra Walton is Chief Content Officer, Financial & Risk, at Thomson Reuters, where she leads a group of nearly 4,000 people with end-to-end responsibility for strategy and management of the firm's information and analytics offerings. She is a member of Financial & Risk's executive leadership team and is the executive sponsor of the Thomson Reuters Women's Network. Debra has been in senior management at the company since 2003, with roles in sales, marketing strategy, and product development.

Prior to joining Thomson Reuters, she was president and chief executive of Nucleus Inc., a technology start-up delivering enterprise solutions. Before that, she was the first female partner at Cantor Fitzgerald and a founding board member of the Cantor Financial Futures Exchange, the first electronic platform for trading U.S. Treasury futures contracts. She was also a senior vice president at Dow Jones Telerate.

Born and raised in rural Australia, Debra began her career in financial services at Australian Gilt Securities, a specialist broker-dealer in the Australian government-bond market. She helped launch Giltnet Limited, an Australian company offering one of the first commercially marketed bond-analytics products.

Debra is a board member at the Women's Refugee Commission, a non-profit organization serving refugee women and children around the world, and an advisory board member at Springboard, a New York-based nonprofit that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts to help women take their business plans to market.

She recently was named a Woman of Vision by the Anita Borg Institute, won the coveted 2015 Merit Award from the Women's Bond Club, and earned a spot on the New York Business Journal's 2015 inaugural 'Women of Influence' list. She has also won the New York Women's Agenda Galaxy Award and the Women's Venture Fund Highest Leaf Award. Debra is a regular speaker on financial services and gender diversity issues, and authors a blog for the Huffington Post.

An avid golfer and sailor, Debra lives in Connecticut with her husband, Marc.

Past Recipients

2013 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner 

Tom JordanTom Jordan

Tom Jordan is President and CEO of Jordan & Jordan, a company providing securities industry domain expertise through three practices: Market Data, Management Consulting & Compliance, and Industry Solutions. The Market Data practice specializes in expense management and risk mitigation while the Management Consulting division focuses on strategic endeavors and regulatory compliance. Through the Industry Solutions practice, Jordan & Jordan manages the FIF (Financial Information Forum), FPL (FIX Protocol Limited) and RIXML (Research Information Exchange Markup Language).

Tom recognizes the value of being involved in industry initiatives and throughout the years has taken a leadership role enacting change throughout the industry. Tom was instrumental in the creation of FISD and served as the organizations first co-chair. Since 1999, Jordan & Jordan has been an active member of the FISD Executive Committee. Tom is also a member of the advisory committee of the Consolidated Tape Association (CTA) and the Unlisted Trading Privileges (UTP) plan. Tom was inducted into the Inside Market Data Hall of Fame, and Jordan & Jordan has won the Inside Market Data (IMD) award for Best Supporting Services Provider three of the four years the award has been in existence. Tom is co-founder and chair of the FIF Advisory Committee which coordinates industry responses and defines best practices for implementation in response to regulation and technology changes. Some examples are Market Data Capacity projections and coordination of the market data and trading aspects of industry projects such as Y2K, decimalization and business continuity.

From 1985-1990, Tom was the Managing Director of Knight-Ridder Financial/Americas where he led the transition from a commodity niche solution provider to a complete financial information offering. Prior to this, he was the Chairman of Monchik-Weber, a Wall Street consulting and product development firm, that led the industry in options analytics, ticker plant creation and consolidated market data feed. Tom started his career with IBM where he held various management positions, both on the technical and the marketing side of the business. Prior to his business career, Tom served as an officer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Korea. He was also a Captain in the National Guard with the 50th Armored Division.

2011 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Joseph Kasputys
Dr. Kasputys formed Global Insight, Inc. in March 2001 to join together the world's premier economic and financial analysis and forecasting firms: Data Resources DRI and WEFA (formerly Wharton Economic Forecasting Associates), along with Global InTech, a software company specializing in time-series data management and interests in Decision Economics, headed by noted economist Dr. Allen Sinai. Dr. Kasputys was with Primark Corporation from 1987 to 2000, where he served as chairman, president, and CEO while successfully transforming Primark from a major utility holding company into a leading financial information and information technology firm. While at Primark, he acquired EFA, co-founded Primark Decision Economics and founded Global InTech. He sold Primark to Thomson in September 2000, and briefly served as chairman of Thomson Financial during an integration period. Coinciding with his role as CEO of Primark, Dr. Kasputys served as president and CEO of TASC (The Analytic Sciences Corporation), an information technology firm and a subsidiary of Primark. He also served as managing director of Datastream, an international financial information company with headquarters in London, also a subsidiary of Primark. Prior, Dr. Kasputys served as EVP of McGraw-Hill responsible for business development and as Chief Economist responsible for coordinating the economic work of all of its businesses. Dr. Kasputys joined DRI in 1977 and became its COO. DRI pioneered in developing large econometric models and forecasts for many countries and industries. After the sale of DRI to McGraw-Hill, Dr. Kasputys became DRI's president and CEO. From 1972 to 1977, Dr. Kasputys was with the U.S. Department of Commerce, first as Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration and then received a presidential appointment as Assistant Secretary of Commerce. During this period, he helped to found the U.S. Department of Energy.

2009 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Stuart ClarkStuart J. Clark
Stuart J. Clark served as Interactive Data's president and chief executive officer and a member of the Company's Board of Directors from February 2000-March 2009, and was employed by Interactive Data and its predecessor companies, in the U.S. and in Europe, since 1968. Under Clark's leadership, Interactive Data expanded its offerings through both internal innovation and strategic acquisitions to establish itself as one of the industry's largest providers of financial market data, sophisticated analytics and related solutions that can meet an expansive range of customer needs across the global financial industry. Many of the world's best-known financial service and software companies subscribe to the Company's services in support of their trading, analysis, portfolio management and valuation activities. Since 2000 when Interactive Data became publicly traded, the Company’s revenue, net income and net cash provided by operating activities have grown steadily every year — with annual revenue increasing from $314.1 million in 2000 to $750.5 million in 2008. Interactive Data now has approximately 2,400 employees in offices located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Clark served as president of Interactive Data Corporation - as it existed before its merger with Data Broadcasting Corporation - since 1995. From 1993 to 1995, Clark was a director of UK-based Financial Times Information, with specific responsibility for the Market Data division. Prior to 1993, Clark led the Market Data division of Extel Financial Limited, which was acquired by Pearson plc's Financial Times Group during that year. He began his career as a researcher at Extel in 1968, progressing through a number of positions of increasing responsibility. Clark has dedicated over 40 years of work to Interactive Data and the market data industry. He has successfully transformed the business into a top-tier market data vendor that is now known as a trusted leader in financial information.

2007 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Leo McBlainLeo McBlain 
Mr. McBlain has been Chairman of the Financial Information Forum in NY since 1995. The Financial Information Forum is an industry organization that brings together business and technology executives from exchanges, broker-dealers, vendors and other organizations to address issues related to brokerage industry information and processing systems. FIF with other industry associations have cooperated on industry-wide projects such as Year 2000 testing, decimalization, business continuity planning, market data traffic capacity planning and the recent implementation planning for the SEC’s Regulation NMS. He was chair of FISD from 1990-1995. He spent thirty-five years at ADP Brokerage Services Group, under various incarnations. First, as VP Marketing where he led sales and marketing efforts which gained competitive wins at 15 major brokerage firms including Merrill Lynch and Shearson (now CitiCorp). He introduced the industry's first PC-based terminal system for professional brokers. In 1987, he moved to VP, Industry Relations where he worked closely with client firms regarding the use of real-time market data and brokerage processing services in conformance to exchange and regulatory policies. Previously, Mr. McBlain spent twelve years at GTE Information Systems’ Financial Services Division in marketing. Even earlier, he did sales in various engineering and technology companies including Ultronic, Computest and Honeywell.

2005 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Leo McBlainBernie Weinstein
Mr. Weinstein founded ILX Systems in 1988 and as its president and chief executive officer, built it over fourteen years from a start-up to be one of the major market data vendors with over 160,000 users globally at firms including Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and A.G. Edwards. He also managed a major division of Thomson Financial as president of its Sales and Trading Group, which included Beta Systems and Autex. Since joining Cantor Fitzgerald in 2002, he has been responsible for Cantor Market Data, a provider of fixed income market data and commentary, and has overseen its rapid growth. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Kleos Managed Services, a subsidiary of eSpeed, an affiliate of Cantor and a major electronic marketplace and trading technology provider for the capital markets. Kleos provides end-to-end managed technology services to the financial industry, including hosting, communications, network management and support, trading solutions and technology licensing. Prior to founding ILX, Mr. Weinstein was the Chief Information Officer of EF Hutton with responsibility for global information systems (including market data) and telecommunications. Under his direction, EF Hutton introduced in the 1980s a then-revolutionary market data system, AWE (Advanced Workstation for the Executive), which supported market data, information retrieval and office automation functions such as eMail, word processing, and spreadsheets. He was also founder and chief executive of International Brokerage Information Systems, Inc. (IBIS), a subsidiary of the EF Hutton Group,that provided information systems and service to the financial industry globally.