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.

Traders Poll

Are you in favor of a pilot program and examination of the rebate system by the SEC?




Free Site Registration

December 1, 2001

The Long and Winding Road

By Gregory Bresiger

It's been a long, interesting and, at times, a sad road for Lee Korins. He not only lost his STA office at the World Trade Center in the Sept. 11 tragedy, but he also lost many friends.

The departing president of the STA says, "I haven't decided what I will be doing after I leave." And he still has some unfinished work. Korins, who has devoted many hours to rolling back the bothersome Section 31(a) taxes, will hold on to his post of chief executive officer of the STA until February 2002. STA officials are hopeful that, by then, the much anticipated reform will be signed into law by President Bush.

Korins, who has had a wealth of experience in the securities business, worked his way up through the ranks at Merrill Lynch, where he spent some three decades. Starting out as an account executive, he graduated to fund manager, upstairs trader, regional manager and then clearing manager.

In 1989, after 32 years at Mother Merrill, Korins became president of the troubled Pacific Exchange (PCX). After turning the PCX around and helping lead it to record profits, Korins resigned in 1995. Over the next two years, Korins taught finance and did some consulting until 1997 when he took the helm of the STA.

Korins' successor, John Giesea, is facing many of the same problems of four years ago. For example, just after taking over his STA post, Korins said that, "the Nasdaq environment has changed so much in the last few years, and it has affected the whole business. We need cooperation on the buyside and the sellside, in the dealer and auction markets. These aren't questions that can be answered in a day or a week."

Indeed, these are ongoing questions that will likely plague Giesea in the years ahead.