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STA Friends and Foes

Traders Magazine, August 2003

John A. Byrne, Editor

Mary McDermott-Holland, profiled in this month's cover story, assumes her new role as chairwoman of the Security Traders Association at a critical moment in regulatory history. The job comes with a heavy load. But the popular Boston buyside trader can handle it. McDermott-Holland's job is formulating a logical set of policies for a group that is trying to be more than just a sellside, Nasdaq-oriented trade association. McDermott-Holland, who succeeds the equally popular Jack Hughes of Philadelphia, must meld the concerns of buyside and sellside constituents into sensible but far-reaching policy. But these must be policies that reflect the best interests and traditions of a diverse organization. The STA includes market makers, buysiders, alternative trading systems and the traditional brick and mortar type stock exchange traders. It won't be easy. Can the industry satisfy the demands of market makers, for instance, while not stepping on the toes of the ECNs? Can it persuade the buyside and sellside to be nice boys and girls? How about reforming the Intermarket Trading System so that NYSE off-board trading pros can have better access to the listed markets? That action would alienate some powerful interests of the NYSE, which has its own group of pros, a group that seems to ignore the STA. Still, successfully representing these various groups is possible. McDermott-Holland, in her own charming fashion, may get it done. She can count on STA President John Giesea, a man of principle and professional accomplishment.

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