The WFE's Women Leaders 2021 - Lynn Martin, President, Fixed Income & Data Services, Intercontinental Exchange

By: The WFE Focus Team Mar 2021

Nominee’s name: Lynn Martin

Member: Intercontinental Exchange

Nominee’s job title: President, Fixed Income & Data Services 


1. - Brief description of nominee’s role/job:

Lynn is the President of Fixed Income and Data Services at ICE. She is responsible for ICE’s fixed income data & analytics offering, fixed income execution, credit default swaps, and other multi-asset class data and network services. We combine insights from around the world with proprietary data sourced from our exchanges and global bond market to help market participants make decisions, operate efficiently, and manage risks and opportunities. This segment generated net revenues of US$1.8 billion and accounted for approximately 30% of ICE’s consolidated net revenues in 2020.

2. - Short bio (career highlights, education, interests/hobbies):

Lynn attended Manhattan College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in computer science and math. She also earned a Master of Arts in statistics from Columbia University. She began her career at IBM Global Services, where she coded and served as a Project Manager. Lynn leveraged her coding skills to join Liffe, the London-based derivatives trading exchange, which was focused on transitioning from physical to electronic trading. Lynn became the CEO of NYSE Liffe in 2013 and also served as the CEO of New York Portfolio Clearing, a joint venture between the New York Stock Exchange and Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation. In 2015, Lynn was appointed to head up ICE Data Services, which brought together various data assets from ICE exchanges, clearing houses, and markets into a cohesive strategy. Lynn now leads the Fixed Income and Data Services segment of ICE, which includes over 3,000 people around the globe, generated net revenues of US$1.8 billion and accounted for approximately 30% of ICE’s consolidated net revenues in 2020. Lynn has served as a member of the SEC’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee (FIMSAC) since 2017 and is on the Board of Trustees of Manhattan College.

3. - What were your professional highlights and challenges of 2020?:

2020 was a challenging year, as we coupled a global pandemic — that required a transition from in office to work from home — with extremely volatile markets, which contributed to strain on global financial systems. I’m extremely proud of my global team — from product, to research, to sales — as we maintained our innovative and entrepreneurial spirits, as demonstrated by new and leading product launches, while staying close to our customers throughout a period of stress. We’ve managed to react quickly to our clients’ needs, keep up with the volatility, and use the momentum to continue to grow at market-leading levels. In fixed income, our evaluated pricing remains a growing tool for price discovery in an extremely fragmented market and is the primary source for ICE’s Global Family of more than 5,000 fixed income indices. These indices serve as the performance benchmarks for more than US$1 trillion in assets managed by investors across the world. We also began to deliver real-time fixed income indices in the midst of the pandemic to add additional transparency from a risk management perspective alongside our real-time equity and commodity index offerings. Uptake of our fixed income indices have had a CAGR of 44% over the last three years. ICE Global Network went above and beyond and provided market participants with the infrastructure to trade uninterrupted across various asset classes in spite of record order and trade volumes. We also continued to build out and invest in our environmental, social and governance (ESG) solutions. ICE has a long history with ESG, and we’ve spent a lot of time this year focusing on finding more efficient ways to present ESG data to our clients. In 2020, we added ESG reference data and climate risk data to our offering — again with a focus on adding transparency to a growing risk factor in the markets. These services have been well received by the market and are directly contributing to our strong growth trajectory. Finally, in 2020 we saw record levels of adoption of our consolidated feed and communication technology (ICE Chat) underscoring our strategy that unique content sets will drive adoption of distribution mechanisms.

 4. - What and who inspires/has inspired you to achieve your professional success:

When I was first starting out my career, I had a mentor — one of the first project executives I worked for — who managed a team of around 40 people. She shepherded us through a mission critical Y2K project for a global bank, and I was amazed at her strong command of the technology that underpinned our project and ability to motivate the team to achieve accelerated goals. She wasn’t just managing people but was invested in how the code we were working on fit together and how the teams worked together to achieve the common goal.

That stuck with me and I think it defines how I manage and think of my work with other people. I’ve been told that I’m detail-oriented and that I enjoy going into the weeds — I think this is part of my quant and engineering background — but I believe there is so much value in this. I want a firm grasp of the products and the services we’re offering our clients because then I can develop our strategy and articulate that strategy to our customers and ICE’s global shareholder base. We listen to our customers; we actively seek out feedback and want to know what is on their minds. I want to know what issues are coming up, what new needs our customers are talking about, and how we can help position them for the future. I like to say that we don’t develop products in an ivory tower and instead develop products that meet a market need.

When you work with data, understanding how the pieces fit together is critical. ICE had massive amounts of data that it was generating from its exchanges, clearings houses and platforms. And when we acquired IDC in 2015, it became clear that their offering had not been modernised. Layer in the SPSE acquisition and the BofA Index acquisition and you have various building blocks that had to be integrated to form a cohesive strategy and offering for our customers. It has been an exciting and rewarding project to bring together disparate assets and teams and evolve an offering to meet customers current and future needs. I think that attention to detail and understanding how the parts fit into something larger was so valuable. It helps investors make better decisions if they have a clearer picture of what they’re looking at and it helps leaders provide critical feedback to help colleagues and business grow.

5. - What advice do you have for other women who aspire to be in leadership positions:

Two lessons that I think about often are the importance of communication, which has never been more relevant, and pursuing something you are passionate about.

One of the most important things about communication is listening. As a leader, you’re expected to develop a strategy but when you’re sharing that with your team, you need to make sure that feedback is being shared back with you. I try to talk only when I have something to say or when I want my opinion to be heard, but I think listening to others and being patient as they tell you something encourages everyone to participate the process. You can learn a lot about people (and as a result are able to provide guidance on their career development), products, and environments by listening to what’s happening around you — it’s all useful data. It’s really hard to overcommunicate.

My dad was an electrical engineer and had the most incredible work ethic — he worked six days a week until he was 70. He encouraged me to pursue math and science and explore things that I was curious about. I think he, like me, was a quant at heart. STEM wasn’t a field where a lot of women ended up, but I think this forced me to work harder than some others during college and grad school. I loved writing code and trying to figure out how things worked -- or in many cases didn’t work — I always viewed it as solving a puzzle. I started thinking more about finance because I thought derivatives were an exciting concept to explore. I’ve been able to work with and learn about completely different segments of the financial industry and I think that has helped me develop a more holistic understanding of the industry, but always comes back to my technical background. Constantly learning, being curious, and solving problems, through creation of solutions, is what keeps me going and excited about work.