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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August 31, 2002

All for One! One for All!

By Peter Chapman

The Townsend Analytics, Terra Nova Trading and Archipelago complex is a formidable operation with about 700 employees. While each of the three is a separate firm they all operate under a common holding company where interdependence is the modus operandi.

Townsend's RealTick is the default front-end for Archipelago users without direct FIX connections to the ECN. Much of RealTick's functionality is actually housed in Archipelago. Terra Nova is Townsend's biggest client. The brokerage offers its customers RealTick.

The Cockpit

In the executive suites, the chief executive of Terra Nova Trading, Chris Doubek, came from Townsend. The chief executive of Archipelago, Jerry Putnam, was the founder of Terra Nova. The CEO of Townsend Analytics remains founder Stuart Townsend. All of the three firms are based in Chicago.

Townsend is a vendor whose customers fall into three sellside categories: daytrading brokerages, proprietary shops and traditional regional brokers. Terra Nova, a broker dealer, concentrates on active traders and small buyside shops. Archipelago services the pros on both the sellside and the buyside.