Company brass talk business and bikes on Aspen area roads | AspenTimes.com

Company brass talk business and bikes on Aspen area roads

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

The road biker pushed comfortably up the last incline, rewarded by the incomparable Tuesday morning view of the Maroon Bells.

He eased up alongside one of his cycling colleagues, clipped out and stopped to share the view.

The two cyclists, as cyclists do, chatted — they talked bicycles and business.

"Cycling is actually the new business sport," said Scott Cutler, executive vice president and head of global listings for the New York Stock Exchange. "It's all about networking."

Cutler is in Aspen for the annual Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, which wraps up today.

He rolled up next to Blake Irving, the CEO of GoDaddy and one of a dozen cycling entrepreneurs on Cutler's morning bike ride to Maroon Bells.

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"There's no better way for a group of people to come together than a ride like this — experience the environment, talk about business and have a lot of fun," he said as his rolling network gathered for a group photo with the Bells as a postcard backdrop.

"We have a combination of entrepreneurs and CEOs and industry executives … and everyone with a passion for cycling," Cutler said. "We had 50 riders out (Monday) to do Ashcroft and everyone got to the top. And we had another smaller group (Tuesday) that we needed to get up here."

He said he has been organizing bike rides for four years with the NYSE and Fortune magazine, bringing together business and technology on Aspen's scenic roads.

Cutler said the contacts generated in Aspen at the conference and on the bike have been invaluable.

"I run the global listings business at the exchange (NYSE)," Cutler said. "I'm responsible for all our relationships with publicly listed companies on the NYSE and any company that might come to the market in the form of an IPO."

Including companies that send their cycling CEOs on bicycle rides with Scott Cutler.

"We work a lot with the venture community and entrepreneurs," said Cutler, who also manages the NYSE's relationship with more than 2,100 companies in Canada, Latin America, the United States and Asia. His range includes listings in investment banking, private equity, venture capital and beyond.

"This is really one of the best industry conferences because of its location and its size," Cutler said of Fortune Brainstorm Tech. "They bring in the right group of the people at the right levels; it allows networking connections in a differentiated way."

The lineup this year includes Colin Bodell, chief technology officer for Time, Inc.; Adam Brotman, chief digital officer for Starbucks; John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco; Daniel Ek, CEO and co-founder of Spotify; Vijaya Gadde, general counsel for Twitter; Renee James, president of Intel; Andrew Jassy, senior vice president for web services for Amazon.com; Leslie Moonves, president of CBS Corp.; Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram; and more.

"Fortune puts on an amazing conference. The content is spectacular. We always wanted to be a part of it … and here we are," Cutler said as clouds started to gather behind Maroon and North Maroon peaks.

Cutler said the Aspen rides are organized by local cycling enthusiast Pam Alexander.

"I've been partnering with Pam on this ride for years. She brings together fun people from different backgrounds," Cutler said. "She is a seasoned professional … she has an incredible network in media and in technology … and cycling."

With Alexander's help, Tuesday morning's ride was supported by Ute City Cycles and Bubba Scott, who opened early (on his birthday) to accommodate the early schedule for the tech conference riders.

"Today, the suffering was shared by all," Cutler said with a laugh. "For us low-landers, coming up to Aspen and riding at altitude can be really tough."

Cutler, who lives in Connecticut, worked as an investment banker focusing on technology at SG Cowen & Co. and Thomas Weisel Partners before joining the NYSE in 2006. He also previously served as a corporate securities lawyer at Cooley Godward, dealing with venture capital.

A graduate of Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in economics, Cutler earned his J.D. from the University of California's Hastings College of Law. He is a board member of British American Business.

He's also testified multiple times before Congress.

In 2010, Cutler was named one of the top 100 most influential people in U.S. corporate governance.

"I've never done a business interview up in the mountains like this," Cutler said Tuesday morning as his group convened for the descent and a return to Fortune Brainstorm Tech

"No, I've never done an interview like this, but I did close a piece of business last year on the Haute Route between Chamonix and Zermatt."

dstrode@aspentimes.com