Business Person of the Month

October 2009: Danny Moore, COO, Wombat Software

By Business & Finance
01 November 2009
Danny Moore

The announcement of a major expansion by the New York Stock Exchange in Belfast is a shining example that, despite the prevailing gloom, all is not lost.


With the announcement that Belfast-based Wombat Financial Software will add 500 jobs to its workforce over the next two years, the company has secured its position as one of the most promising world-class companies on this island. Nearly two years ago the New York Stock Exchange bought the company for $200mn. Wombat develops software to speed up the delivery of electronic market data to hedge funds and investment banks. It has direct links to stock markets and has designed software so that the data can reach the financial institutions in milliseconds.

Phenomenal success

Danny Moore is the chief operations officer of the company he joined in 2003. Joining the company as only its second employee, Moore has overseen phenomenal international success in a highly competitive market. It was Moore who convinced the Australian owner to set up in Belfast as opposed to India – which was the planned development centre of the company. Moore persuaded the owner that they could find a relatively cheap source of talent in Belfast to take Wombat to the next level. “It would have
been impossible for us to source the level of talent on Wall Street that we did in Belfast because we would have been competing with Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and fifty hedge funds. There was nothing sexy about joining Wombat versus joining Goldman.”

Wall Street focus

Wombat is split between offices in Belfast and on Wall Street, and Moore splits his time between these two places as well, “We ran the whole company, including the Belfast office with a very Wall Street focus. Wall Street has got itself a bit of a bad name of late,” he says. “A lot of the things you see around bonuses etc I don’t agree with. But our culture was much more of a delivery based culture – if the company does well everyone does well, if the company does badly then everyone does badly. That’s the opportunity that Wall St affords to people who want to get stuck in and make the effort.”

International development

Between 2004 and 2007 the company experienced phenomenal growth – doubling or trebling revenue every year through strong margins and organic growth. Merril Lynch came onboard as a minority investor and by 2007 the company was looking to go to the next level. A management buyout was considered but instead it was decided to put itself up for auction. NYSE was a late entrant to that process. Such a huge global brand was exactly what Moore and his management team had hoped for and Wombat fit perfectly into NYSE’s technology strategy.

Path to the top

Preceding Wombat, Moore contributed to the success of First Derivatives (representing Kx Systems) by helping to establish its US sales and marketing presence, whilst simultaneously developing its financial derivatives pricing software. Moore also delivered third level production and development support to Kx customers in the US and internationally to Europe and Japan.

As well as being a Sun Certified Java Programmer and WebMethods certified developer, Danny holds a Masters of Engineering in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and a Masters of Philosophy in Quality Improvement and Manufacturing Profitability from Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Wombat key facts

  • Wombat was acquired by the New York Stock Exchange for $200m in 2007
  • Danny Moore joined the company in 2003, and is currently its chief operations officer
  • Wombat’s software is used by the top stock markets, hedge funds and investment banks in the world

Merc logoBusiness & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business & Finance, in association with MERC Partners, has been awarding excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award over the last number of years. These awards seek to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and particularly those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.