Practical Bravery: BRAD LEVY



How is technology reshaping the landscape of global finance?

What role do ethics play in the evolution of digital communication platforms?

In what ways can resilience and innovation drive progress during crises?

How will emerging technologies like Bitcoin impact the future of trading and energy resources?

What lessons can leaders learn from the transformation of traditional trading floors to encrypted, digital platforms?

So many questions, so little time.

In this episode of The Possibility Club, we delve into the world of global financial services, banking, and fintech with a focus on bravery and ethics.

Our guest has carved an impressive career path, marked by courage and a commitment to ethical stewardship and good governance in financial markets. With over two decades of experience in the industry, he’s earned a reputation as a true pioneer.
Recognised for his exceptional leadership, he was named CEO of the Year at the 2022 Markets Choice Awards. Additionally, he has been included in the TabbFORUM 40 Top Innovators in Financial Markets list. He’s not just shaping the industry; he’s actively shaping the conversation around the  future of technology and finance.
For the first Practical Bravery interview of 2024, please meet Brad Levy – the CEO of the rapidly growing fintech infrastructure firm, Symphony.

Key quotes:

“The industry needs a platform that is secure, ie encrypted, and then highly curated.”

“Not everybody can be on Symphony, it’s a walled garden but ultimately inside that walled garden people decide who they communicate with. So it’s very open inside, but it’s encrypted.”

“Symphony is an enabler of remote work.”

“I started with no computers really in an industry and I ended up with a Pentium chip in 1995 that was super-fast, and I just stayed with that.”

“Electronic trading in 95 didn’t exist, so it was a very physical job, you sat on trading floors, people smoked cigarettes, literally, on trading floors in the 80s and 90s. That really started to fade. Trading floors used to be raucous, and then it started to get more online and fifteen years later in 2010 you go to a trading floor, there’s a lot of people but it really is quiet.” 

“There’s a lot more trading and risk activity happening now, it’s just more dispersed and diffused.”

“I’ve seen that thirty year arc and it’s just been fascinating.”

“To build thing you need capital. Usually you need funding to do anything. Then you need some form of physical energy. I think of finance, tech and energy as these base areas, and then base industries that all other industries need to deal with.”

“A bitcoin is code, compute, and cooling. Literally. Write code, run the computer and then cool it. That’s why Quebec is big, because it’s got a lot of hydro-power and water.”

“I’ve just seen all these things — and communication literally winds up being the thing you need at that moment. Not having your cellphone battery, or being down on text on 9/11.”

This episode was recorded in September 2023

Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible

Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts


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