Meet Tim Cook, Head of Business Development at LedgerEdge

Tell us about your career to date

I was always fascinated by the confluence of finance and technology. Starting my career in the 2000s when the markets started to truly electronify was exciting, I saw the opportunities opening up in the sell side, buy side and tech which allowed more free flowing capital for the benefit of all.

I had roles at Reuters (now Refinitiv) NEX / EBS BrokerTec and LiquidityEdge, witnessing the growth in demand for bespoke solutions.

When I had the chance to join LedgerEdge earlier this year, I jumped at it. The issues of liquidity, price discovery and data ownership in the bond markets are manifest but not insurmountable — we know there has to be a better way of executing. We have a truly unique model which is aiming for a fundamentally better trading experience.

I’m working on a broad business development role as part of the management team. David Nicol and the rest of the team are simply the best professionals around. Launching during Covid has been hugely challenging but given everyone’s experience and expertise we have all risen to the challenge. And we have been amazed at the level of support and time the wider community has afforded us.

What do you think is the most interesting trend in the industry, and why?

It’s a topic a few years ago I would have fallen asleep about but data to me is the most interesting. The way it is exchanged, consumed and disseminated is all changing at every part of the economic lifecycle. The new wave of technologies in finance is allowing incredible new layers of intelligence to be applied to raw data. It’s something we are embracing at LedgerEdge as we build out our data ecosystem to make it an equitable model for all.

Best and worst things on a Zoom call

I’ll combine the two and say the mute button. Absolutely vital when I have three kids under seven running around the house downstairs and yet a source of annoyance the amount of times someone goes to speak only to be told “I think you have the mute button on”. I’m probably the worst at this in truth.

Netflix series you most recently binged on and would recommend

The Last Dance — the story of Michael Jordan’s last championship with Chicago Bulls. I love the team aspect, how they built the mentality of us against everyone else and the importance of each character in the dressing room. Being in my teens during the 90s it also evokes many memories to music, fashion and culture.

Best book for a much-needed holiday

My suggestion is definitely not your usual thriller or autobiographical novel. But if you have a week away and want some mental stimulation then Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari is ideal. Written in a way that even my small brain can understand it offers a lot of perspective on our biological history, why we evolved as we did and the role of society in all of this. You may not agree with all of the interpretations, but I found it massively thought-provoking.

Recipe for the perfect evening/weekend?

The way the world is right now a perfect weekend would be a two-day party with all of my friends and family! But given that isn’t happening (for a while at least) a weekend trip to a remote country hotel with my wife Jules, followed by a nice dinner in front of a crackling fire, that would be ideal. And then returning to the three young boys on a Sunday afternoon and sitting down for some sport. Perfect.

Best piece of advice you have given or received?

I’m not sure whoever passed on this piece of very simple wisdom to me but its one that has always resonated — Keep moving forward. It’s also slightly related to the theory of marginal gains in that if you keep doing the small things right then the compound effect is far greater than you ever initially realise. And having been involved in a few start-up companies in recent years I find that sometimes the challenge can appear so daunting, but if you keep doing the small things right and putting one foot forward the destination in many ways takes care of itself.