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Elaine Wah

Modern Markets, Modern Metrics - A Blog By IEX

In this blog by IEX's Elaine Wah, the newest public exchange looks to refute public claims that the metrics it uses are designed to inflate its own volume numbers and mislead people.

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May 31, 2003

A Trading Wolf in Minnesota: For one trader, the exploits of his favorite basketball players are so

By John A. Byrne

Bill Beise is a Minnesota Timberwolves superfan. At games, he's hard to miss in a suit and tie. He's a wild and unrestrained fan. He's baying for his team. He waves a game program. He pumps his fist. He howls. He's a basketball fan who is in heaven.

Bill Beise must be excused for acting a bit like a coach who might get his second technical foul any minute. He can't restrain himself.

At games, he will kneel near his front row seat, rooting for the team. Sometimes, a Timberwolves player will give him a high five.

When the Timberwolves played the Washington Wizards, the legendary Michael Jordan came by during break. Jordon hailed him as the coach' and then left with a twinkle in his eye.

Beise's no coach. That does not stop the Timberwolves players. They call him coach, anyway.

In his day job, Beise is a managing director and sales trader at RBC Dain Capital Markets in Minneapolis. He has been a trader most of his professional life, having previously worked at Wessels Arnold & Henderson, a sellside firm which was acquired by RBC.

By all accounts, Beise gets whipped up with wild energy whenever the pulse of the market is changing. At Timberwolves basketball games, it's the same. The Wolves' real-life coach Flip Saunders says the people who probably get irritated by Beise are referees. Beise tends to accidently bump into them a lot. Saunders says he's a most exemplary superfan. A season ticket holder since the Timberwolves inception about 14 years ago, he is a superfan who rarely misses a game.

This devotion has paid off. On a recent Fan Appreciation Day, Beise's love for the Timberwolves was recognized: The team broke with convention and made a bobblehead - not of an NBA star - but of Bill Beise.

In a random drawing, 1,500 fans received bobbleheads of Beise's likeness.

But it didn't stop at that. Before the game, the team presented him with a 2-foot version of his own bobblehead. It was a little embarrassing for him, Beise told Traders Magazine. But his family insisted he take the honor. And he was finally swayed when it was decided to donate the proceeds from sales of 2,500 other Beise bobbleheads to charity. Beise, a good man, is a regular at Timberwolves charity events.

What is the reason for his seeming over-the-top enthusiasm? Bill Beise explains it this way. "I am 48 but my wife Laurie says I have a chronological age of five."

Beise is undoubtedly a mature child, only slightly bruised by the ravages of the sports business. The passing of the years leave many fans feeling disillusioned and cynical. Not Beise.

NBA Playoffs

The Minnesota Timberwolves made it to the NBA playoffs - seven times - and then had their hopes dashed. But with a little more talent and maybe some luck, his beloved team can take the NBA title one day, Beise says. "All we need is one more strong player," he said.

Beise, who has three children, has the emotional heart of a child. Sometimes, he'll go back to the upperdeck and invite a kid to sit with him courtside during a game. "You should just see their eyes light up, it is wonderful," Beise said.

Beise can not restrain himself. When the late Wolves' Malik Sealy landed a three pointer at the buzzer to beat the Indiana Pacers in January 17, 2000, Beise threw himself in the pile of victorious players.

Bill Beise, after all, is a Minnseota Timberwolves superfan.