Ian Chicken, COO of LedgerEdge
Tell us about your career to date
My career began at HSBC back in 1987 (which feels like a lifetime ago). It was even called Hong Kong Shanghai Bank then. They gave me a fantastic, well-rounded training in markets, and I learnt so much. After 13 years there including two years in Stockholm and a year in Paris, I left to join BrokerTec. I remember being interviewed for the role in December 1999 at One Poultry — clearly that was a good omen! When I joined BrokerTec, I think I was employee number five in London, and we built the company from scratch having some tremendous fun in the process. ICAP bought BrokerTec in 2003 and in 2005 I first came across Dave Rutter who was running BrokerTec in New York at that point.
In 2010 I decided to join LIFFE but came back to ICAP in 2012 where I again worked for BrokerTec as well as ICAP’s exchange business. After assisting in the sale of ICAP’s voice brokerage to Tullet Prebon, and the creation of NEX Group, I ran NEX’s MiFID implementation. I was reunited with Dave Rutter at LiquidityEdge and R3 in September 2018 and was pleased to be given the opportunity as COO of LedgerEdge when we founded the company in March 2020.
What do you think it the most interesting trend in the industry?
The advent of digital ledger technology and the acceptance of cloud computing gives LedgerEdge the opportunity to bring cost savings and privacy to the market enabling players to protect their positions and ensure that they always get the best price. We believe the application of this technology is a game-changer, empowering participants to share liquidity with control and benefit equitably from the data they produce. I know this sounds like a cliché, but I truly believe it’s an exciting time to be in the industry.
Best and worst things on a Zoom call?
Zoom has been a revolution and really helped us to get off the ground. It is now so much easier to setup meetings with customers and run technical design studies, and everyone turns up to meetings on time. The worst though is that life is now one long series of Zoom meetings and there is nowhere to hide…
Netflix series you most recently binged on and would recommend
We are absolutely engrossed in the latest series of The Crown — great storytelling and I would love to know how much is fact and what is fiction?
Best book for a much-needed holiday?
We actually did manage to get away earlier this month, and I read Eddie Jones’s Autobiography. An excellent read, especially if like me you love rugby!
Recipe for the perfect evening/weekend?
Given current lockdown this is seriously compromised. My ideal evening would be a dinner for two with Kate and I at the local pub. The perfect weekend would be a round of golf, a trip to see Harlequins and dinner with our friends none of which are currently possible!
Best piece of advice you have ever given or received?
Always try to get on with people and keep smiling! It is amazing how that can get you through tough times that always develop in any project!