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I T GOES WITHOUT SAYING that the 2008 global financial crisis was a wake-up call for investors, politicians, the public, and regulators. For the Securities and Exchange Commission, the global financial crisis also exposed the agency's technological shortcomings at a time when advanced technology was needed to uncover risk and monitor daily activity in the markets. In October 2010, when Thomas Bayer joined the SEC as its chief in- formation officer, the crisis was in full swing and the financial markets were recovering from the infamous flash crash in May of that year. Fol- lowing the flash crash, the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) found it difficult to sort through transaction data to find out what caused the approximately 1,000-point drop. It took the SEC almost five months to complete its investigation of the flash crash, as it struggled to piece together trading data from the fragmented markets. The SEC and CFTC report on the flash crash, issued on Sept. 30, 2010, said the cause was a combination of fragile and fragmented markets, high volatility, thinning liquidity, and computer algorithms. "We had to spend $2 million build a sys- tem to analyze the flash crash," Bayer reports. To observers of the financial markets, however, a bigger concern October 2014 7 Previous Table of Contents Next Previous Table of Contents Next Thomas Bayer, CIO for the SEC, has helped the agency improve its systems to better monitor today's electronic markets. By Greg MacSweeney @gmacsweeney Improving By Leaps And Bounds SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION THOMAS BAYER Chief information officer, Securities and Exchange Commission CAREER BIO: Before joining the SEC staff, Bayer was the CEO at Maris Tech- nology Advisors. He also served as COO/CTO at Brand Informatics, and previously worked for Capital One, Inteliguard, and Citibank. WHO IS YOUR MENTOR? "My father-in-law, Paul Powers, who is a former Fortune 500 CEO and former CEO and chairman of two public corporations. He gives me advice and counsel, and he advises me about the responsibility in man- aging through issues." WHAT WORK EXPERIENCE HAD THE MOST LONG-LASTING IMPRESSION ON YOUR CAREER? "When I was at Citibank running operations, I had to learn to react under ver y difficult situations, and I had to deliver SLA requirements with systems that were ver y old. I also had to gain the trust of employees and contractors. I had to connect with the customers to re- ally understand what they needed. That experience has helped me throughout my career." WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOBBY? "Either skiing or tennis. Last year, I participated in a fundraiser for children's education. It was a 24-hour ski race in Stratton, Vt. You basically ski in teams for 24 hours. It was a lot of fun." DOWNLOAD PDF

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