Developers to the Rescue: A Career in Financial Services Software

For Jim Mullen, the path to CTO started over a game of golf.

“My partner [Sam Mele] and I used to golf a lot because he left his company,” Mullen said. “We spent most of 2004 not only golfing, but really going around to different firms and trying to vet some ideas.”

During their golfing excursions, Mullen and Mele realized that the business problem they tried to address with their first business venture, Intercap Systems, a financial services software company, still existed.

“We started to look at the business and realized that the post-trade, or back-office, side of this business had changed. And it wasn’t getting any better — in fact, it was kind of getting worse,” Mullen said. “All the ECNs [electronic communication networks] that were out there in the front office were producing lots and lots of volume that couldn’t be cleared. You couldn’t figure out how much you owed, what the charges were. We felt there was a great opportunity [here].”

Their thinking eventually led to the conception of startup Firm58, where Mullen serves as chief technology officer. Similar to Intercap, Firm58 offers post-trade management software solutions for the financial services industry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development is expected to be one of the fastest-growing fields through 2016. And business in the financial services software space seems to be particularly hot in light of the economic climate in the U.S.

“We consider the fact that the market is tough one of…

Meagan Polakowski


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