A Tribute To Brian Conlon

A Tribute To Brian Conlon

A Tribute To Brian Conlon

I was very sad to hear the news about Brian Conlon over the weekend. The Northern Ireland technology sector has lost a giant. Our thoughts are with his family who have lost much more.

Reading the eulogies online my feeling is that they haven’t fully captured the impact he had on the software and Fintech sectors in Northern Ireland. In my view, Brian is the founding father of what is now one of the biggest Fintech sectors in the world. Or to put it another way, before First Derivatives there was nothing, and while FD grew to be an exceptional firm, we shouldn’t overlook the others that followed in its wake, not least Wombat, NYSE Euronext, Citi, CME, Aqua Q and many others.

All of us who have built a career in the sector here owe him a huge debt of gratitude, as do people in all the other blossoming hi-tech software firms buzzing around the hive of world class engineering talent spawned in Fintech.

More personally, I’ve always acknowledged that Brian gave me the two critical breaks that shaped my career, for which I’m eternally grateful.

I first met Brian for second interview in Newry on a dark and drizzly Monday afternoon in December 2000. I’d failed my PHD at interview the previous Friday, decided to disclose it, and he didn’t seem to care. At the time the job offer from FD was a lifeline off life’s scrap heap. Sixteen months later a water cooler conversation with him on a Friday afternoon saw me on a plane to New York on the Monday morning to set up the Kx Sales office. The rest is history.

Nigel and I also met with Brian in July 2012 to discuss Options Technology. I made the decision to get onboard in the carpark in Newry town centre after the meeting. It’s funny how the same people pop up at many of the critical junctions in life.

One of my roles in the FD office was as receptionist. It was a small company back then and somebody had to pick up the phones.

At the time I was struck by just how many people called in to have a chat with Brian, and the great things they had to say about him. Teachers from his school, football coaches, professors from Queen’s University, friends from around the world. The usual pattern, I’d explain he wasn’t in the office, then the caller would spend five minutes relaying what a great guy he was with a few stories mixed in.

He touched a lot of lives way beyond the reach of his business accomplishments.

Danny Moore, Options President and Co-CEO.

2 responses to “A Tribute To Brian Conlon”

  1. Peter Durkan says:

    Well said Danny. Brian will be sorely missed.

  2. JC says:

    Fair play Danny. He gave many a chance and loved to see them do well.

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