Fulcrum Associates

Our Principals

Joe Held

 

I have been fortunate to have worked with talented technology and business professionals for thirty-four years – twenty-two years as a technology executive spanning firms from Wall Street to Main Street.  During that time, I have led the successful planning and implementation of global technology transformation efforts at Hartford Life Insurance, Standard & Poor’s, Reader’s Digest, and S&P Global Platts.  This covered the entire spectrum of business systems and infrastructure transformation.

My experience spans technology leadership in the commodities markets, health and life insurance products, insurance investment and pension products, equities, bonds, credit derivatives, ratings, equity benchmarking and research products, index products, quantitative analytics, expert systems, as well as publishing and direct marketing media.

Most recently, I was the CIO for S&P Global Platts, a leading provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals, and agriculture commodity information and a premier source of benchmark price assessments for the global commodity markets.  Platts also provides information and analytics that help customers make trading and business decisions and enable the markets to perform with greater transparency and efficiency.

I was responsible for providing global leadership of Platts’ application systems, cloud infrastructure, and data collection services from March 2014 to October 2017.  We effectively enabled Platts to exceed its growth targets by implementing a new generation of market data products, analytics products, new sales platform, and new global price assessment and editorial platforms.  At the same time, we delivered the technical integration of several tuck-in business acquisitions, established the global technical organization, implemented flexible and rapid development practices.

Prior to Platts, I joined Reader’s Digest Association as their global CIO for the period of May 2011 to January 2014.  In 2011, RDA was a $2B+ global, multi-brand and multi-platform media and direct marketing company with more than 140 million customers in 75 countries and 21 languages channeling content through multiple media platforms, including print, web, digital download, books, home entertainment and training software products, as well as mobile and social media products.

My role was to develop the technology direction, financial plan, and global implementation scenario in support of RDA’s business strategy to downsize the company.  We divested/licensed out more than 20 properties worldwide, requiring a rapid 75% reduction in technology costs.  We focused our new technology investments in RDA’s digital publishing businesses and the consolidation of our global infrastructure.  I also managed all the technical aspects of our 3rd party negotiations for our 2013 Chapter 11 filing.

In 2004, I joined Standard & Poor’s as the CTO of their Ratings business, then was promoted to the global CIO role across but one of S&P’s businesses in March of 2005, retaining that role through May of 2011.  In 2011 and to this day, S&P is a leader in providing a variety of ratings, benchmarking, and information products to the global financial services marketplace – supporting investors, financial institutions, and insurance companies.  During that time, we processed the daily pricing of 3M fixed income securities representing $12T in assets, ratings of more than $3T in new debt with 1M of new and revised ratings/year, benchmarked $3.5 trillion in securities with the S&P 500 – with indexed assets making up $915B as well as processing $247B in assets for 217 listed ETFs.  We were also a leading global reference data provider which included the world’s CUSIPs with comprehensive information coverage of more than 80k public companies and 11k of private equity firms, and more.

As CIO, I directed a global top-to-bottom digital transformation for S&P’s Ratings, Portfolio Management (Index), Equity Research,  and Fixed Income and Risk Management businesses, representing more than 90% of S&P’s revenue and profits.  The goal was to establish and implement S&P's technology strategy to extend its product reach to the global capital and equity markets.  This included the delivery of new global Ratings workflow, content management, analytics, business intelligence and compliance platforms; equity research publishing and product platforms; Index real-time, end-of-day, data and content product platforms; bond pricing and fixed income product platforms; S&P.com, Sales and Marketing systems with eCommerce capabilities; product distribution platforms; and quantitative analytics software products.  In addition, we established S&P EngineeringTM, an Agile software engineering methodology that improved time-to-market and metrics reporting for business systems products and implemented our global sourcing strategy.

Prior to working for these New York based companies, I held several technology positions at Hartford Life Insurance (as their Technology VP of investment products), CIGNA Healthcare (as the VP of application and information architecture), and Aetna Life and Casualty (including Diversified Business and Health Insurance).  I have a BA from Rutgers University and conducted graduate work at the University of Massachusetts.  My wife Connie and I reside in Farmington, CT., and we have three children, Ted, Emilie and Sarah.