Business Insider got a look inside the whirlwind day of Nasdaq's senior vice president and head of global technology infrastructure and operations.
Don Beery, a veteran engineer who has been with Nasdaq for the past 11 years, is not only in charge of roughly 344 employees; he's also a father of three and opened up about how he juggles both his work and family life.
Come along for a look inside a day in Don Beery's life. (Hint: Bring your coffee. You're going to need it.)
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If Don Beery's stamina was traded on an open market, you might seriously consider buying some shares.
That's because Nasdaq's senior vice president and head of global technology infrastructure and operations seemingly has inexhaustible reserves of energy. The veteran engineer, who has called Nasdaq his professional home for more than a decade, needs impressive endurance in order to power through his jam-packed days.
And even in light of the coronavirus pandemic, his schedule hasn't become any less demanding.
"I honestly can't remember the last time I got eight hours of sleep," Beery told Business Insider. "It's unreal the schedule I keep, especially right now. Honestly, if I get four-plus hours of sleep, I'm very happy about it."
In his day job, Beery leads Nasdaq's operations agenda across a global suite of products that include trading, clearing, and corporate services in over 120 markets around the world. His team also works with Nasdaq's market technology customers to ensure that the structures that underpin their economic operations are running smoothly.
In addition to leading a team of 344 people both in the US and internationally in places like Stockholm, Singapore, and Lithuania, Beery is also a dad of three: He has a 1-year-old, and two older kids, 11 and 13.
To say his is a demanding job without set hours would be an understatement. "There's a sense of pride that we have" at Nasdaq, he said, in providing an infrastructure that keeps economies up and running.
Business Insider got an inside look at Beery's fast-paced day, from his first work call at 5:30 a.m. right through to his before-bedtime tradition of enjoying a peaceful glass of wine by candlelight with his wife. Strap in and come along for the ride.
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Donald Beery starts his morning at 5 a.m. His first call is just half an hour later — a live video call with Nasdaq's Europe-based markets and operations team.
That first cup of joe is vital for Beery to start his morning off right. "I'm a big coffee drinker," he told Business Insider. "I'm like one of those seven cups a day kind of guys."
After that first call is done by about 6 a.m., Beery heads to the pool at the house where he's been quarantining in the Hamptons.
"I usually try to get a swim in after this first call," Beery said. "I love being in the water to keep in shape and get ready for the day ahead."
Post-swim, Beery dives into the deep end of a slew of morning meetings.
From 7 to 9 a.m., Beery is in back-to-back meetings.
First up is a half-hour meeting about Nasdaq's Software as a Service technology efforts. So far, the offerings power more than 120 marketplaces, he noted.
At 7:30, Beery Zooms into his weekly check-in with his boss Brad Peterson, Nasdaq's chief information and technology officer, and a few of Peterson's other direct reports. "Here we discuss any urgent or timely issues, new developments and anything we may need from one another today," Beery said.
Then, at 8 a.m., Beery hops into a steering committee call on efforts to advance Nasdaq's products and services in the sell-side technology space.
And at 9 a.m., the meeting marathon continues as Beery Zooms into a crisis management simulation that Nasdaq runs for its colleagues in the Nordic region.
The US trading day officially opens, which represents an important inflection point in Beery's day.
At 9:30 a.m., the US trading day begins and, as the markets open, Beery pays close attention. "Every working day I'm always available at the opening and closing of the US markets," he said. "These are critical daily moments in the financial markets, and I always make sure I am reachable and involved with the rest of the operations team."
Time for more meetings: Nasdaq holds company-wide calls on its pandemic response and upcoming IPOs.
At 10 a.m., Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman convenes her bi-weekly all-hands meeting to bring Nasdaq staff up to speed on how the company is addressing the coronavirus pandemic. Beery said the meeting also serves as "an opportunity to showcase the great talent at the company."
"It's one of my favorite calls I join," he added.
Then at 11, Beery logs into a meeting about upcoming IPO's. "Since April, we have had more than 70 IPOs occur, all done remotely," he said. "It's been a really busy year, even in the face of a global pandemic."
Team huddle: Beery's team Zooms in for their regular check-in.
At 11:30 a.m., Beery has his regular update call with his team. Worldwide, the Nasdaq SVP has about 344 staffers who report to him. This particular meeting is with Beery's direct reports in the US and Europe.
Then, finally, Beery temporarily presses pause on the intense cadence of his day to stop for a brief lunch at noon.
In pre-pandemic times, he'd typically have skipped lunch or grabbed something light, quick, and to-go while at the office. These days, lunch is still a casual, dressed-down affair: "I will usually grab whatever is available in the fridge," he said.
Post-lunch, Beery pushes through the rest of the afternoon with a few additional video calls. And he has some tricks for staving off Zoom fatigue.
With lunch out of the way, Beery largely has meetings for the rest of the afternoon, including his daily call with his US technical operations staff to discuss "what's working, what's not working, and anything I can do to help them," he said.
At this point, most people might be suffering from a bout of Zoom fatigue, but Beery has a few tricks to ward off video call-induced lethargy.
Between calls, he stretches his legs, spends a few minutes catching up with his kids, or, if he can spare the time, will go for a quick bike ride. "I have late calls and after the US markets close, sometimes I'll do Zoom calls while on my bike and away from the video," he said.
The market closes, another key milestone in Beery's day.
At 4 p.m., the markets officially close. Don't mistake that for being a reason to breathe easy though, Beery said: "It's all hands on deck with my team. Like the morning closing bell, I make sure I'm around and available as the US markets come to a close for the day," he added.
Post-market closing, Beery has two more meetings: A 4:30 p.m. planning meeting for an upcoming industry-wide test conducted by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Nasdaq has a key part to play in administering these tests).
After that, it's Beery's last meeting of the day: A 5 p.m. post-mortem discussion about a minor technical incident. Beery's team reviews the incident and how the issue was resolved, and works on crafting strategies to prevent it from happening again.
At this point, most people are off the clock — but Beery's personal life is about to take center stage. Feeling tired yet? Brace yourself: We still have a few more hours to go.
At about 6 p.m., Beery and his family try to build in some time to share a swim together.
Evenings are important to Beery and his family.
"I make a point of taking advantage of any free time to spend it with them," he said. "Even if it's for a walk, a quick errand run altogether, or we go swimming. Family time is critical to my own sanity and relieving stress."
Recently, Beery says he taught his 11-year-old and 13-year-old kids how to ride bikes this summer. Lately, they've been making a point to enjoy the beach in the Hamptons when they can, but soon will head back to New York City.
"I love my job and I love my family," Beery added, "so I'll give them everything I got."
To end the day, Beery and his family have dinner, and then he and his wife light some candles and enjoy a glass of wine together as the evening finally draws to a close.
After some quality time, the family heads to the dinner table, where Beery's wife, whom he describes as a "great cook," whips up some "incredible meals."
"Like my swimming," he said, "her cooking is part of how she relaxes and checks out." (His wife's day is equally intense: She's a program manager at JPMorgan.)
"We always make a point to eat dinner as a family, no TV on and just go around the table and talk about our day," Beery said of their evening ritual. On this particular day, dinner consisted of duck breast seared with a crispy skin and warm fried potatoes.
After dinner as Beery's whirlwind day draws to an end, he and his wife light a few candles, pop a bottle of pinot noir, and unwind by talking about their day, their family, and life in general, Beery said.
By 11 p.m., it's off to bed to try to catch a few hours of shut-eye. "The nature of my job requires me to always be available," Beery reflected, "but I sleep soundly knowing we have some of the best people in the industry working at Nasdaq to keep the global markets healthy and up and running around the clock."
And tomorrow, Beery's life in the fast lane will restart all over again.