Commentary

Tim Quast
Traders Magazine Online News

We're All HFTs Now

In this guest commentary, author Tim Quast looks back at the history of HFT and how the market has evolved to where many firms now fit the definition of high-frequency trader.

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September 30, 1999

Fast Track

By John Byrne

Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co. raided the New York Giants for its latest recruits. Phil McConkey, a wide receiver with the football team until 1990 and still running his own investment bank, was hired as a sales trader. Former Giants tight end Mark Bavarro will reportedly start at Gerard Klauer in January.

Other new sales traders include: Carla Chiesa, previously with Oppenheimer for two years; Mark Stachnik, previously with Ladenburg Thalmann for two years; and Joe Haywood in the Boston office, previously a buy-side trader with Boston's Fleet Bank.

Gerard Klauer also lost two traders: Dan McMahon went to Oppenheimer as a senior block trader and Tim McCarthy is now running the listed desk at Needham.

Thomas Weisel Partners has seven new hires, bringing its total trading headcount to 36.

Frank Driscoll, most recently an executive vice president in charge of equities at Fidelity Capital Markets, will run the trading desk in Boston. Irene Britt and Chris Pillsbury will work as sales traders in the Boston office. Britt previously headed sales trading at HSBC, in Boston and Pillsbury was an assistant vice-president in OTC trading at Merrill Lynch.

Robert O'Brien and Anita Motwani were hired as position traders in San Francisco. O'Brien was a Nasdaq market maker at Prudential Securities. Motwani was previously a trading assistant at Merrill Lynch.

Tripp Nabors will work as a floor clerk at the New York Stock Exchange. He was previously director of sales at Linkshara.

Mike Hirou, formerly with Goldman Sachs, will work as a sales trader in San Francisco.

BancBoston Robertson Stephens named CIO, Ed Brandman, head of electronic trading. His responsibilities include investigating ways to leverage technology and developing strategic vendor relationships to strengthen the firm's trading business and distribution channels. Brandman joined the firm in 1998 as a vice-president for trading technology after a stint with J.P. Morgan.

Knight Securities hired Paul Sasseville as a vice president for electronic commerce. The position involves marketing Knight Securities business and eKnight, its Internet-based trading system. Sasseville spent six years as the associate publisher of Traders Magazine before moving to Knight Securities.

Lynch, Jones & Ryan hired veteran floor broker Joseph Jaeger as a senior vice president and director of floor operations. The firm also purchased a third seat at the New York Stock Exchange. Jaeger was previously a floor broker with Prudential Securities and a NYSE floor official.

NexTrade, operator of the NextTrade electronic communications network, retained Frank Wilson as a consultant to assist the ECN as it applies to the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a stock exchange. Wilson was a former executive vice president and general counsel to NASD until 1991 when he became a consultant.

Advanced Clearing, the clearing subsidiary of Omaha, Neb.-based Ameritrade Holding Corporation, hired Christopher Nagy as trading manager. Advanced Clearing processes trades on an agency basis for Ameritrade, Accutrade and about 50 other broker dealers. Nagy was formerly a vice president of equity trading at U.S. Bancorp Investments, a unit of Minneapolis' U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray.

Prudential Securities hired a new portfolio trading team to service institutional accounts. Michael Birch will head up the three-man team as a first vice president. Nicholas Zerille is a sales trader and Brendan McMahon is an equity derivatives specialist. The three were most recently with ABN Amro Bank.

Damian Riley joined Cowen & Co. as a senior position trader. He was previously a position trader with Furman Selz for three years.

Boston's Adams, Harkness & Hill hired three new sales traders: Barry Bocklet, a sales trader on the west coast for many years, most recently with Seidler & Co.; Tim Vetrano from Credit Lyonnais in Boston; and James Jasinski formerly with Jones & Associates in Boston. All will report to Paul Mazzarella, the head of sales trading. Adams, Harkness & Hill now has eight sales traders and six position traders. Position traders report to Ben Marsh.

M.H. Meyerson of Jersey City hired two position traders: Vanessa Light, most recently with Sharpe Capital for about 18 months, and Tommy Laresca, previously with Baron Chase and other firms. Sal Dacunto heads up the desk at Meyerson, overseeing about 30 traders and 40 support staff.