John Ramsay: Adapting to the Future Workplace

John Ramsay, the Chief Market Policy Officer of Investors Exchange (IEX), wants to shift the narrative revolving around the future of work and what it means for people of all backgrounds.

An executive seminar speaker at the 44th Business Today International Conference, Ramsay stressed that the change of the future - primarily technological change  — impacts people of differing levels of education and work experience in very different ways.

“Technology is having a big impact on everybody — but I think for the kinds of people who are at this conference, there is an expanding range of choices. Certainly, there is a requirement that people be more nimble and flexible in adjusting to different opportunities,” he said. “The thing that I think people have not considered is what’s the impact of technological and other change on working class people, the people to whom the consultants in their Armani suits don’t speak to.”

Prior to his career at IEX, Ramsay worked at the Securities and Exchange Commission and was instrumental in implementing elements of the Dodd Frank Act. He said that he enjoyed the environment of working at IEX, calling it a company that works to even the playing field. “We try to disrupt in this case and make the trading of securities, in some sense more democratic and fairer. We try to deprive advantages to speed traders that are trading to the disadvantage of ordinary investors,” he said.

It is the equality focused nature of IEX that Ramsay enjoys. “There was a way to actually participate in the public sector that featured the things that I believe in,” he said. “It hadn't really occurred to me that this was possible.”

He also expressed hope in the future generations of leaders, calling on the current attendees of the International Conference to work toward making the world a better place. Ramsay specifically spoke about how the coming generations must work to make the workplace and society fairer and more inclusive.  

When asked about his own college experience, Ramsay said that he realized his interest in market policy well after college. He urged college students to think beyond the confines of conventional paths. “My one piece of advice would be to think big, to think broadly,” he said. “Try not to move too quickly into figuring it out. I think there’s so much pressure for college kids these days. I wish I had been more open my career and in my life.”