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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March 1, 2002

Merging and Surviving in Dixie

By John A. Byrne

Scott & Stringfellow, the South's oldest member of the New York Stock Exchange, is acquiring Virginia-based market maker Ryan, Lee & Co., a firm that says it has survived the harsh economics of many small dealers.

"There is constant [economic] pressures on small firms like mine," Patrick Ryan, President of Ryan, Lee, told Traders Magazine. "It is more costly for us than the larger firms to keep up with all the new rules and regulations."

It was these high overhead costs, he added, that finally convinced Ryan, Lee that an acquisition by a larger firm made more business sense. Ryan, Lee provides personal investment services to individuals and institutions, including investment banking.

Richmond, VA.-based Scott & Stringfellow, the brokerage subsidiary of BB&T, has 40 offices in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Tennessee and the Carolinas. It was established in 1893. Ryan, Lee was founded in 1990.

The deal was slated to close this month. Terms were not disclosed.

Ryan, who becomes managing director of proprietary trading at Scott & Stringfellow, is a well-known activist in trading circles. He has served on the board of governors of the National Association of Securities Dealers, as chairman of the NASD Market Surveillance Committee and on the District Business Conduct Committee for Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and the District of Columbia.