Jonathan Wells, Project Manager in New York, NY, United States
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Jonathan Wells

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
New York, NY, United States
Toptal Member Since
July 8, 2021

Jonathan is a financial services and fintech leader with expertise in application development, trading system design and deployment, system architecture, complex program management, and team development. With 20+ years of experience, including U.S. Bank, Goldman Sachs, and PwC, and a Wharton MBA, Jonathan thrives in situations where a large gap needs to be filled between critical business needs and the current technology capabilities, including major system renovations and complete new builds.

Project Highlights

Prototype Fintech Platform for an Early-stage Startup
Built a prototype of the platform to the point where it was persuasive enough for early-stage angels to invest in the startup and close the fundraising round.
Doubled a Team and Introduced the SAFe Framework During COVID-19
Rapidly doubled the size of a collections technology team from 50 to 100 to ramp up delivery capability for a business under stress during COVID-19.
A Fully Automated FX Trading System for a Bank
Led the delivery program for a fully automated trading system in under six months, enabling increased trading volume and revenues for the FX corporates business.

Expertise

Work Experience

Chief Technology Officer

2020 - PRESENT
Adaptive Investment Solutions LLC
  • Delivered an easy-to-use portfolio protection/hedging service for regular investors for less than $1 million. This was a complex automated trading solution with full trading execution and banking integrations.
  • Assumed the product manager role and defined the product capabilities and MVP.
  • Defined the application architecture and cloud architecture.
  • Vetted, hired, and onboarded the initial development team, together with subject matter expert consultants.
  • Established Agile development methodologies and offshore development capability.
  • Pitched early-stage investors for funding, resulting in the close of the company's initial angel fundraising.

Technology Group Manager, Retail Payments

2017 - 2020
U.S. Bank
  • Defined and delivered multiple capital expenditure programs across the call center, fraud and disputes, and collections functions, resulting in 10%+ efficiency gains by enabling customers to self-serve using web and mobile apps.
  • Rolled out full Scaled Agile development across a team of 200+, doubling the pace of delivery for the collections line.
  • Doubled the size of the team in less than six months and enabled rapid response to COVID-driven requirements.
  • Represented U.S. Bank as an advisor in the FinTech Innovation Lab New York program for fintech companies.

Head of Capital Markets Technology

2012 - 2017
U.S. Bank
  • Defined and delivered a high-speed electronic trading platform for foreign exchange (FX), enabling new business from large corporate clients.
  • Delivered the Calypso derivatives platform and pricing models, resulting in a doubling of the rates business revenue.
  • Defined target state architecture for each business line.
  • Delivered a full front-to-back FX options trading platform, enabling additional new business services for corporate clients.
  • Defined and delivered a data mart and business intelligence capability for the credit businesses, enabling much greater insight into client trading activity for the business development heads.

Strategic Initiatives Head, Prime Services/Derivatives Clearing Services

2010 - 2012
Goldman Sachs
  • Drove a strategic system renovation program in the futures clearing business, turning around a failing program.
  • Analyzed client interaction information and leveraged usage patterns to define the architecture roadmap.
  • Defined and drove the build program for the new futures clearing service business, enabling compliance with the Dodd-Frank regulatory changes.

Global Head, Credit and Rates Sales Technology

2006 - 2010
Goldman Sachs
  • Identified and drove the implementation of key applications for the OTC sales businesses, enabling the ability to track client price request trends during the 2008 global financial crisis, a time of acute market stress.
  • Architected and drove the renovation and broad deployment of the client valuations system across OTC asset classes, resulting in greatly reduced reputational risk to the firm and improved production stability.
  • Delivered client history and pricing activity information to sales businesses, which enhanced distribution effectiveness.
  • Led the definition, development, and delivery of multi-asset client information for the strategic sales desktop.
  • Assembled the desktop development team and defined and delivered major multi-asset desktop components, including client activity, OTC derivatives positions, client-focused alerts, holdings information, and pricing history/RFQs.
  • Delivered the sales opportunities identifier application, which automatically identified potential trades based on client preferences, prior activity, and live markets information. This automation enabled a 10%+ increase in sales trade volume.

Co-head, Equities Trading Desktop Technology Team

2003 - 2006
Goldman Sachs
  • Co-led the equities division core trading desktop group and drove the program definition and delivery of a C#.NET common trading desktop framework to the Goldman Sachs equities businesses for both internal trading and external client use.
  • Collaborated with the lead architect to define and drive the initial project definition and implementation, which resulted in taking the framework from a blank sheet of paper to initial delivery in less than nine months.
  • Worked effectively with the equities trading technology teams to onboard 10+ developer teams and 400 users to the platform in support of the single shares trading, program trading, and algorithmic trading businesses.

Global Development Head, Multi-Asset Web Trading Systems

2002 - 2003
Goldman Sachs
  • Led the application development and QA/deployment teams for the award-winning WebET external client trading system, which combined trading for clients across the fixed income, equities, and FX businesses.
  • Delivered online client trading and pricing capability to multiple business lines, including treasuries, corporates, money markets, and equities program trading.
  • Addressed performance and product issues to enable the daily transaction volume of the FX business to rise to $1 billion+ per day.

NY Technology Head, Fixed Income Trading Systems

1996 - 2001
Goldman Sachs
  • Drove the delivery program for the first fixed income electronic trading systems. Ran the fixed income trade entry and positioning system for North America, comprising 200+ bond traders.
  • Defined and ran the delivery programs to onboard multiple electronic trading channels, including TradeWeb, BrokerTec, European MTS, and Goldman Sachs WebET, enabling the fixed income businesses to participate in multiple new pools of liquidity.
  • Personally implemented the trading decision engines for multiple trading channels.
  • Delivered the strategic trade entry system. Addressed performance issues with the volume-sensitive treasuries business, enabling it to continue unhindered.

Developer, Client Services Systems, Fixed Income Technology

1992 - 1996
Goldman Sachs
  • Led the business analysis of the complete system requirements for from-scratch development and delivery of the client services middle office system.
  • Designed and implemented client ledger components, including sub-ledger and general ledger accounting modules, and the relational data model.
  • Delivered a books and records system for the European fixed income proprietary trading desk.

Analyst Developer

1990 - 1992
PwC UK
  • Designed and developed components of an oil production monitoring system for a major British oil company.
  • Designed and developed multiple database components in a technology that was new to the firm.
  • Led a technology analyst training program for new graduates.

Prototype Fintech Platform for an Early-stage Startup

Built a prototype of the platform to the point where it was persuasive enough for early-stage angels to invest in the startup and close the fundraising round.

In the role of product owner, I defined the product capabilities and MVP requirements.

Key Activities:
• Defined the application and cloud architecture using Amazon AWS.
• Hired and onboarded the initial development team.
• Established Agile development methodologies and offshore development capability.
• Delivered a working front-to-back prototype.
• Pitched early-stage investors and landed funding.

Doubled a Team and Introduced the SAFe Framework During COVID-19

Rapidly doubled the size of a collections technology team from 50 to 100 to ramp up delivery capability for a business under stress during COVID-19.

A credit collections business was under acute stress due to COVID-19 and needed a lot of new capabilities built in a short period of time. I drove a doubling in the team size, and we rolled out the full Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) framework in order to improve collaboration and increase the flow of business value.

A Fully Automated FX Trading System for a Bank

Led the delivery program for a fully automated trading system in under six months, enabling increased trading volume and revenues for the FX corporates business.

Key Activities:
• Assembled a team of 10 developers.
• Assessed multiple alternative vendor systems.
• Collaborated with the business line to make a fact-based selection decision.
• Led the integration of the trading platform with internal banking systems.
• Managed the delivery program and went live in under six months.
2003 - 2005

MBA in Business Administration

The Wharton School - Philadelphia, PA, USA

1986 - 1990

Master's Degree in Microelectronic Systems Engineering

University of Manchester - Manchester, England, UK

Tools

Trello, Slack, Jira, Zoom

Paradigms

Agile, Scrum, Agile Project Management, Kanban

Industry Expertise

Banking & Finance, Call Centers, Capital Markets

Platforms

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Pega

Other

IT Management, Trading Systems, IT Project Management, Leadership, Fintech, Technical Project Management, Project Management, Finance, IT Systems Architecture, Electronic Trading, Business Analysis, Project Leadership, New Product Development, Technical Hiring, Securities, Fixed Income, Bonds, FX, Options, Derivatives, Equity Derivatives, Project Planning, Requirements, Staffing, Financial Systems, Planning, Technical Requirements, Communication, Technical Product Management, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Business, Python, MySQL, Project Rescue, IT Program Management, Relationship Management, C, Sybase, Programming, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Product Owner, Investor Presentations, Fintech Consultant, Product Management, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Portfolio Management, Investments, Card Payments, Vendor Selection, Vendor Management, Futures, Prime Brokerage, Equities, Web, Accounting Software, Feature Backlog Prioritization, User Stories, Discovery, Requirements & Specifications, User Requirements, Sprint Planning, Backlog Management, Scrum Master

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