Witad Awards 2021: Market data professional of the year—Lisa Schirf, Tradeweb

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If Lisa Schirf were to pick one word to describe Tradeweb, it would be “thoughtful”—a sentiment that she says starts with CEO Lee Olesky and proliferates through all levels of the company, making for a helpful and ideas-led approach.

It also extends to how existing staff treat newcomers, and helped Schirf herself settle into her new role as managing director and global head of data strategy at Tradeweb, which she joined in May 2020, in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, after more than 25 years in various roles on the buy side and sell side, including recent stints at Citadel and Nasdaq.

Her role—which oversees the company’s data science and analytics team, product management, data management and governance team, and the data sales team—is to help Tradeweb do more with its data, help it understand clients better, help those clients better understand its data, and to expand its data portfolio and offer more predictive analytics. Since joining, a large part of that role has been formalizing processes around those approaches to dealing with clients, managing data, and developing new ideas.

Having worked with distributed teams in the past, Schirf already understood the importance of tools like Zoom and Webex, and establishing regular check-ins so that everyone knows what each meeting is about, and what each person is working on. She also began using Jira—a tool developed by Sydney, Australia-based Altassian for tracking software development—to track projects that the teams are working on.

“That has made things extremely transparent,” Schirf says. “There would be a real bottleneck if everything had to come through me. But because that is distributed, everybody knows what everyone else is working on, and who they should go to for something specific.”

Her team also uses these processes to harness ideas from throughout the company and treat them in the same way as other data assets.

“Tradeweb has lots of different businesses and different teams, and there is a lot of knowledge stored in those business lines, where someone in one area may have an idea that could help clients in another area,” Schirf says. “Part of our job on the data team is to figure out how we can help clients—what problems do clients have, and how can data solve them? All questions, such as how to achieve better execution, lead back to data. People on the team were already working on this. I just formalized it.”

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