From the Stage to Strategy
Glenton Davis, Head of Strategic Partnerships, shares how his career path led him to Cboe and how he hopes to bring radical transparency and reliability to his role.
When Glenton Davis was a student studying economics and music at Yale, he was primarily focused on one career path: making pop music.
After graduating from Yale, Glenton, a trained baritone who began playing the piano at four years old, landed his first dream job — he became a pop star. For two years, he toured Canada, performing songs that landed on the Canadian pop charts. Then, the world experienced a post-Great Recession technological disruption that made Glenton think about his next phase of life.
“I realized there’s a lot more in the world than just releasing songs and I started to think about how I could level-up the skills that make me a creative artist to venture into other opportunities,” says Glenton, Head of Strategic Partnerships. “At the time, I never could have imagined that this is the path I would take but looking back it makes perfect sense.”
Glenton subscribes to organizational psychologist Adam Grant’s school of thought that there is no way to plan five or 10 years down the line. Rather, he believes you can only optimize for what you want to learn and contribute over the next two years. Throughout his career, Glenton has optimized his skills to prepare him for whatever may come next.
Glenton began his career in financial services, working in wealth management, then transitioned to the tech industry after obtaining a law degree and MBA from Northwestern University.
“After grad school I went to work for Microsoft, which I thought was a permanent switch out of financial services,” he says. “But you never know what the next phase of life has in store. Five years later, here I am, back in financial services again.”
Returning to financial services may not have originally been part of Glenton’s plan, but he knows this is the perfect next step.
“I think I bring a valuable technology perspective to Cboe as the company goes through one of the most seminal periods in its history,” he says. “And when I talked to John Deters (Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Strategy) about this opportunity, I heard a sense of dynamism that truly felt like a once-in-a-career opportunity. I felt like I had to be a part of this historic company as it grows globally and solidifies its legacy as an industry leader.”
Now a full-fledged Cboe team member, Glenton is fascinated by just how much opportunity abounds at Cboe. Not only business opportunities and career growth, he says, but opportunities for everyone to bring their authentic selves to work, too.
When Glenton began his career, he felt he should hide his success in the music industry and other creative endeavors, deeming them incompatible with the workplace. Over time, however, he began to realize that his creativity actually makes him better at business.
“We often miss this because we look for like-mindedness when need to seek out novelty,” he says. “Companies that embrace novelty are companies that encourage and facilitate innovation. That’s what I want to be a part of and that’s why I love this role.”
So, as Glenton embraces Cboe’s culture of novelty and authenticity, he’s reshaping how the company approaches its strategic partnerships. Top of the list? Focusing on Cboe’s core relationships and determining how to unify Cboe’s existing relationships across business lines to grow value for market participants.
“Most importantly in this role, I am committed to radical transparency and radical reliability,” he says. “I want our approach to partnerships to be a collaborative effort that associates across the company can visualize and access.”
With more collaboration, Glenton believes the possibilities are endless for Cboe’s internal teams, as well as its strategic partnerships. Additionally, he’s excited to further explore emerging partnerships and ideas that push the envelope.
“Exploring emerging partnerships lets us think about even the wackiest ideas to future proof the company,” he says. “I want associates to share their most out-of-the-box ideas for partnerships because that type of disjunct thinking is what can bring us to new heights.”