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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February 1, 2002

Sandler Back After Sept. 11 Attack

By Staff Reports

Sandler O'Neill has restarted its Nasdaq desk. It had been shut down for four months following the destruction of its offices at the World Trade Center. Trading has begun at the firm's new midtown Manhattan headquarters.

Prior to the attack, Sandler, which specializes in the securities of small- and mid-sized financial companies, traded about 300 names. It hopes to regain that level by the end of the year. An 18-person research department is covering about 140 names with plans to reach 200 by the end of the year.

Since the attack, the investment bank has hired 44 people, bringing its headcount to 149. It lost 66 of 171 employees in the attack. About 130 worked in the south tower of the World Trade Center.

In the year through August 2001, Sandler traded between 27 million and 34 million shares per month, according to Nasdaq. It generally ranked among the top 100 Nasdaq dealers.

Sandler often ranked as the top trader in many of its stocks. In August, for example, it was the ax in Huntington Bancshares with a 10 percent share; Roslyn Bancshares with a 20 percent share; and Dime Community Bancshares also with a 20 percent share.