Leadership

GEORGE DAVIDSOHN

Founder and Chairman

When I was 10 years old, I emigrated to this country from Uruguay, the only one of 7 brothers and 2 sisters who spoke English. I didn’t know what to expect...

But as an outsider I was happy to be in America, fascinated by the bustle and creative spirit, in love with the American Dream.

At 10, I was already working, taking any job I could get. By 16, I labored by day and put myself through Brooklyn College at night. I loved drama, having attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I also loved baseball, so much I even tried out with the Brooklyn Dodgers (Despite my disappointment, they were smart to keep Pee Wee Reese at shortstop).

My life on Wall Street started humbly in Dean Witter’s mailroom. Later, I was afforded the opportunity to work at MIT on what was one of the world’s first supercomputers. Soon after, I was proud to have been commissioned by Mr. Dean Witter to build the first automated back-office system in an IBM facility—effectively the world’s second supercomputer. These machines revolutionized the power of computing in financial services. Later, this training led me to refine the first automated back-office system for the Dean Witter corporation, allowing them to increase their trade volume exponentially.

In 1961, I opened my own firm. We had the distinct privilege of designing and building 11 distinct versions from the ground up of our core back-office platform which became, and still is, the industry standard. We also developed the first electronic-trading platform for Drexel. Over time, much of Wall Street relied on Davidsohn including Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs (Spear, Leeds & Kellogg), Nomura, and Brown Brothers Harriman. Most of the leading firms today still use the systems originally implemented by Davidsohn. Our platforms are the common DNA strands that power the back office of the entire industry.

Today, I’m proud to be working on a groundbreaking new back-office platform. This will allow highly specialized financial businesses, such as mutual funds, hedge funds, and options traders, to get custom solutions for all their precise needs.

I’ve always been a curious person and have a deep faith in the power of turning something complex into something simple. I remain excited by emerging technologies and feel challenged to implement them at the highest levels of functionality. My passion continues to be innovating the back-office experience. I believe technology transforms industries in profound and meaningful ways.

JOE DAVIDSOHN

Chief Executive Officer

I may as well have been born in a back office on Wall Street. When I was 3 years old, I attended my first partners’ meeting...

On weekends, my father George would run client conversions and I apprenticed at his side. He took me along to watch, learn, and absorb his wisdom.

I spent lots of time in the operations area and learned intimately how the back office worked. I was inside the machine of Wall Street from a very early age. I completed intense internships on the trading floor of the NYSE for Paine Webber, and in the back office of Wagner Stott.

My father’s unwavering commitment to making things work for the betterment of the global financial marketplace profoundly shaped me. Most children might have been daunted by such a brilliant father. For me it was the opposite. To this day, his intellect and creativity truly motivate and inspire me.

I also have a passion for entertainment and art, and worked for a number of legendary comedians and bands. With a liberal-arts major and a minor in international business, I created a booking agency that serviced corporations using much of the same creative problem-solving my father taught me.

By 1998, I was leading Davidsohn’s marketing efforts. After the 2008 crash, I felt we could be of assistance to members of Congress and the Senate as they were putting forth legislation for the 2009 financial-reform act. As a flood of regulatory requirements and new tax codes hit the industry, we continue to fill a technology void. I’m proud to have created our cost-basis tax reporting solution in response to recent events. In 2009, I took over as CEO to free up my father, so he could set his sights on the next wave of Davidsohn innovations.

As a student of history, I draw inspiration from many unlikely sources: King David, Charlie Chaplin, and Walt Disney, to name a few. I’m drawn to natural storytellers, visionaries that reimagine their genre and redefine what is possible. I’m on a similar mission—to expand the boundaries of “financial technology” in a way that makes a profound difference to enterprises around the globe.

LUCIANO CINTRON

Chief Operating Officer

My introduction to business re-engineering happened when I was 8 years old. Newly arrived from Puerto Rico, I was excited to have my first job...

My boss wanted me to yell to the women shoppers as they passed the Five and Dime. I earned a bonus that first day, but lost my voice. That night, I had an idea and wrote a sign. “Three pair of the best ladies’ stockings in the world for one dollar!” it said. My boss fired me for the sign. But days later, I had another job at a shoe store, carrying boxes from the truck. I decided to use my home-made skateboard to move several boxes at once—automation at its finest.

My earliest instincts were to make things move faster and easier. My strict Puerto Rican father called me lazy. Little did he know, it was the start of my love affair with problem solving and automation.

During my years in the United States Seven Army Special Forces, I was given a top security clearance. It was then I fell in love with math, science, and data analytics. Ever since, I’ve been focused on technology development, solutions architecture, business re-engineering, information security, risks avoidance, mergers and acquisitions, finance and technology management.

To me, software is the lifeblood of global industries, without which we’d still be calling out to shoppers about stockings. I spend my days keeping our operations fluid, and our solutions scaled and responsive to our clients’ exact problems.

Computers are mathematically precise, based on complex theorems and algorithms. Yet, oversight is essential. I make sure we perform lifecycle tasks in conjunction with project management, capability-maturity models, and risk-avoidance testing. All of this, so Davidsohn can deliver the right solutions, secure solutions, on time and on budget.

Automation—from creation to deployment—requires a thoughtful combination of art and science. From my childhood jobs to now, I still love making hard things effortless.

Professional History
  • Chief Operating Officer, The Davidsohn Group
  • CTO Global Equity Finance, Merrill Lynch
  • Senior Management, Consulting Services, Price Waterhouse
Education
Brown University


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