Our nation’s economy is diverse. Banks and financial institutions run the gamut in terms of size, region, strategy, client profile and more. We’re proud to empower these firms with the choice they require to make decisions based on their own unique needs – and, by extension, do our part to increase efficiencies for all industries and sectors.
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The people behind AFX are fundamental to our mission. We bring the right banking and financial expertise to deliver stable, transparent experiences in the interbank lending market. Owned by 7RIDGE, a private markets asset manager dedicated to investing in innovative technology for financial services, we are transforming the market today and poised to grow long into the future.
Chief Executive Officer
John Shay is Chief Executive Officer of the American Financial Exchange (AFX).
Prior to joining AFX in April 2023, Shay founded and served as Managing Partner at Capital Market Services Inc., a wholly owned clearing and execution services business designed to improve market access for non-banks in the over-the-counter and exchange-traded spaces. Shay was also the Executive Chairman of Trusight Solutions, a KY3P bank-owned consortium that was sold to S&P Global Market Intelligence in December 2022. Shay was also the Chairman of ACADIA, another bank- and exchange group-owned consortium that was sold to LSEG in March 2023.
Since 2007, Shay has been part of the Virtu Financial family of businesses. Alongside Virtu founder Vinnie Viola, he created the market’s first OTC Interest Rate Clearing DCO, known as IDCG. That business was sold to LCH in 2012 and included Nasdaq as its majority shareholder.
From 2012 to 2016, Shay served as Senior Vice President for Global Markets at Virtu Financial, where he was responsible for managing outside venue, vendor and trading relationships focused on fixed income, commodities, and currencies. He currently advises the CEO on all FICC-related matters.
He is a past member of various industry advisory boards and committees, including the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, the Treasury Market Practices Group (TMPG), the Foreign Exchange Professionals Association (FXPA), and the main board LCH Group.
In 2016, Shay joined Nasdaq as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Fixed Income and Commodities. In this role, Shay was responsible for leading the global commodities and fixed-income areas within Nasdaq’s Global Trading and Market Services business, including. US Treasurys and global commodities. In the Nordic and Baltic markets, he was responsible for fixed income, clearing and broker services activities.
Shay is an active public speaker and is often quoted in major global FICC publications. He has been a panelist and moderator at numerous industry conferences as well as an advisor to the US Treasury, CFTC, SEC, Federal Reserve, and Bank of England. He has also testified before the US Congress on market structure reforms, most recently in July 2017.
Shay earned an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BBA from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, graduating magna cum laude.
Chief Financial Officer
Ed Berko is Chief Financial Officer of the American Financial Exchange (AFX).
Berko has more than 25 years of C-suite experience in the financial services industry. His experience includes senior executive positions at Zurich Insurance Group, Bankers Trust and MetLife.
Prior to his business career, Berko served as a US naval officer on guided missile destroyers and was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal for meritorious service.
Berko received a BS from the United States Naval Academy and an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. He is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in mechanical engineering.
Managing Director, Sales & Marketing
Craig Benson is Managing Director, Sales & Marketing at the American Financial Exchange (AFX). He has more than 25 years of experience in dealing with complex financial products and investment strategies. Prior to joining AFX, Benson was a proprietary trader dealing in interest rate and currency futures. He has held senior roles at CRT Capital, BNP Paribas and Lehman Brothers, all of which involved working directly with institutional investors and helping to manage their unique investment needs. Benson received a BS from the University of Illinois.
Chief Operating Officer
Leonard Fabiano is Chief Operating Officer of the American Financial Exchange (AFX).
Before joining AFX, Fabiano spent over 25 years on Wall Street with BlackRock and UBS developing and executing on thematic opportunistic strategies.
Throughout his career, Fabiano has demonstrated strategic acumen and a knack for identifying market opportunities, developing revenue-driven market execution strategies, building high-performing teams and executing firm growth strategies. He has successfully built value-adding businesses at BlackRock in three distinct scenarios, which have raised assets totaling over $30 billion with recurring revenues of more than $4 million annually. In November 2016, Fabiano joined UBS O’Connor as a strategic advisor to UBS Asset Management in New York. Prior to joining UBS, he was a Director, Investor Relations at Radcliffe Capital Management, a credit hedge fund based in Pennsylvania.
Fabiano worked at BlackRock for 22 years as a Director, where he led business development efforts to institutional investors globally. He was also a member of the BlackRock Solutions Financial Markets Advisory (FMA) Group. As a member of the FMA team, Fabiano counseled large financial institutions on complex capital markets exposures (including on risk management, portfolio disposition, hard-to-value assets, and capital market structure) and interfaced with government agencies and regulators. Prior to BlackRock Solutions, Fabiano was a Director within the asset management division of BlackRock, where he led new business development and worked with clients regarding their investment and portfolio allocations across fixed income, equities, derivatives and alternatives. Before joining BlackRock, he was a member of Bear Stearns’ institutional fixed-income sales and trading team in New York, where he managed large institutional relationships including pension funds, insurance companies and asset managers.
Fabiano holds a BS from Villanova University and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Managing Director, Business Development
Rafael L. Marques is Managing Director, Business Development at the American Financial Exchange (AFX).
Prior to joining AFX, Marques served as Senior Vice President of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), where he was actively involved in all aspects of the program’s feasibility and design phases and worked on its membership outreach and expansion into Latin America. He also conducted research relating to business opportunities in carbon sequestration and sustainable forestry management. He was actively involved in the development and implementation of CCX’s international activities and joint ventures.
Marques previously worked as a researcher at the Brazilian embassy in Washington DC, where his responsibilities included analysis of trade-related issues. He was also a lecturer in economics at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Marques attended several Conference of the Parties meetings within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as both a delegate and presenter. He has lectured on the subject of market-based solutions to environmental problems at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois, as well as Brazil, India and China. He co-authored articles on CCX published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society.
Marques is a native of Brazil and holds a BA from Luther College and an MA from the University of Illinois Chicago. He also studied for one year at the University of Nottingham (England) in an honors program.
Managing Director, Sales & Liquidity Operations
Scott Woodbury is Managing Director, Sales & Liquidity Operations at the American Financial Exchange (AFX). He joined AFX from Oppenheimer & Co., where he served as a Managing Director with the Government Trading and Finance group and headed the repo desk. Prior to Oppenheimer & Co., Woodbury spent 13 years as a Managing Director of finance on the Bear Stearns repo desk, trading US Treasurys, agencies and emerging markets. He has extensive experience in collateralized trading, cash management, money markets and funding. Woodbury received a BA from The Ohio State University.
Robert Albertson serves on the Advisory Board of the American Financial Exchange (AFX).
Albertson is Principal and Chief Strategist for Sandler O’Neill & Partners, LP. He heads the Investment Strategy Group, which guides the firm’s outlook for the financial services sectors. He provides investment strategy for institutional investors, consults with Sandler O’Neill clients and works closely with the firm’s Executive Committee. He is also involved in the firm’s activities in emerging markets, particularly Brazil and China.
Before joining Sandler O’Neill, Albertson was founder and President of Pilot Financial, a global financial sector performance fund spanning European, Latin-American and US banks, brokers and specialty finance companies. Pilot invested in over 25 companies in a dozen countries. Previously, Albertson was Director of US Bank Research (1987-99) and Global Coordinator for Financials Research (1997-99) at Goldman Sachs, where he led a team of analysts covering the US banking industry and established initial research coverage of European banks in the 1980s and several Latin American banks in the 1990s. He also spearheaded research efforts on Internet banking and the impact of technology. For 15 years, he consistently maintained a top ranking in independent surveys as a securities research analyst specializing in the financial sector, including an Institutional Investor poll where he finished as #2 in the U.S. and as #1 in global coordination for bank research. He also worked closely with investment banking to support new business development, design and market equity offerings and consult on acquisitions. During his tenure at Goldman, he was involved in over 20 major bank stock underwritings and IPOs. He has also been a regular consultant on bank mergers, counseling investment bankers, bank management teams and bank boards.
Prior to Goldman, he was Managing Director, US Bank Equities Research at Smith Barney.
Albertson has been a frequent on-air commentator for CNN, CNBC and Fox Business, as well as other business news media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist and American Banker. He is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, a member and former President of the Bank & Financial Analysts Association and a regular speaker before the banking industry and supervisory organizations, including many of the largest US banks, the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the Bank for International Settlements.
Albertson holds a BS from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
David Sayles serves on the Advisory Board of the American Financial Exchange (AFX).
Sayles has worked in the financial sector for over 35 years and has extensive experience in structured products, derivatives and market risk management on both the buy and sell sides. His work has generally entailed the application of quantitative and analytical methods for solving challenging problems in investing, structuring, market-making, large-scale portfolio trading, financial instrument development and risk management.
Sayles has been a derivatives market maker, as well as a portfolio manager trading a wide range of derivatives to manage bank and insurance clients’ mark-to-model exposures. He was also a member of BlackRock’s Financial Markets Advisory unit, managing, hedging and liquidating large portfolios totaling over $150 billion in assets during and after the global financial crisis, as well as advising governments, central banks, clearinghouses, financial utilities and financial intermediaries. Previously, Sayles held positions at Alliance Capital Management, Lehman Brothers and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.
Sayles holds a BS from Yale University and an MSM from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He has taught classes in fixed income capital markets at NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Alan Sobba serves on the Advisory Board of the American Financial Exchange (AFX).
Sobba is the Chief Public Policy Officer for the UDHC, a private investment company that supports firms focused on bridging traditional finance and decentralized finance in the form of legal advisory and public policy advocacy. UDHC is leading the effort to educate policymakers and financial industry leaders generally on the role and merits of decentralized finance.
Sobba also operates Sobba Public, LLC, a consulting advisory firm providing strategic advice on public policy, public affairs and media. He has experience working with all levels of policy and decision-makers, from Congress and the Treasury Department to financial regulators including the SEC, CFTC, FDIC, FHFA, FCA and others. He is also highly familiar with and connected to national leaders in trade associations representing the financial services industry.
Previously, Sobba served as Director of External Affairs for the CFTC, responsible for the coordination of all CFTC activities with Congress, the White House and other governmental agencies. He also served as Chief Policy and Communications Officer for the International Derivatives Clearing Group (IDCG) and CEO of Green and Grow, an agricultural biotech company.
Prior to these roles, Sobba was Director of the Government Relations office for the Commissioner of Baseball and worked for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association after completing college.
Sobba received a BS from Kansas State University, an MBA from Arizona State University and a JD from the University of Kansas.