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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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August 31, 2001

A Cyber Trader's African Utopia

By Sanford Wexler

Philip R. Berber made his millions building and then selling CyberCorp., a direct access brokerage system.

Now the wealthy Irishman has had enough. He netted $200 million in the sale of the half-billion dollar landmark product. And half of his $200 million will be used to fight global poverty.

Berber and his wife, Donna, who make their home in Austin, Texas, are not the type that go to the usual round of posh cocktail parties these days.

They can be found at work on their foundation, A Glimmer of Hope, a magnanimous non-profit outfit that promotes poverty eradication projects in Ethopia, Ireland and in Donna Berber's native U.K.

The foundation's most recent initiative: a $3.6 million dollar national aid package in Ethiopia, which is distributed across eight regions.

The funding covers projects on HIV/AIDs, water, education, training, and health. About $1 million has been set aside for a model village in Ethiopia's Dembi Dollo.

"If we can show over the next few years that our approaches and projects work in a village like Dembi Dollo - and it becomes self-sustainable for the long term - then perhaps the approach could be applied to every village in Ethopia, maybe Africa," said Philip Berber. "Utopia in Ethopia is when they don't need us any more."

Berber sold his CyperCorp. for roughly $488 million about two years ago to Charles Schwab Corp. at the height of the online trading boom.