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June 20, 2005

As I Was Saying....

By Michael Scotti

It's good to be back at Traders Magazine after a nearly nine-year hiatus. You might ask, "Where you been, guy?" Well, I went on to run conferences on equity trading for five years and then proceeded into Wall Street brokerage. All very interesting, but like markets, careers sometimes have a way of correcting themselves: I'm back to my journalistic roots and excited about working at the industry's premier magazine on equity trading. It's a great opportunity, and, of course, challenge.

My return, in an odd way, is reminiscent of the plight once faced by Stanley Woodward, former sports editor and columnist of the now-defunct New York Herald-Tribune. Woodward refused to print the golf scores from the weekly golf outing of the owner's wife and her friends, saying it was beneath the dignity of such a fine paper. Woodward's stand led to his firing. Years later tempers cooled. Woodward was brought back for a second time.

In almost predictable fashion, the sports-writing legend and iconoclast began his first column at the Trib, "As I was saying before I was interrupted...." Regarding my own interruption, much has changed since 1996. And I feel blessed to have come full circle.

The theme at Traders Magazine has always been to stay on top of the news and ahead of industry developments. That philosophy served me well at II's TraderForum after leaving this publication. Think of all the developments in the industry between 1996 and today. The pace of change-especially the two recent mergers-has been mind boggling.

One benefit of running a conference organization was the tremendous access it afforded me to buyside traders. It provided insight into their issues and the challenges they face, as well as some great friendships. A trade publication needs to understand the business of its readership. That brings added depth and insight into stories. With Peter Chapman, promoted to executive editor, and Greg Bresiger, managing editor, our goal is to cover new ground and bring new perspectives.

I've been fortunate to have been employed by great organizations on Wall Street, but without question, the most impressive person I have ever worked for was legendary trader John Mulheren. I did marketing for him until recently at a small brokerage unit in the Bear Wagner stable. A head trader at a major bank once asked if John would visit his desk to talk about trading and markets. John did, of course, and spoke with precision for 90 minutes and answered questions. As the teacher spoke, some of the 15 or so traders rapidly took notes, while others simply looked on in amazement. Count me in that latter group. A great trader-but an even greater man-has gone.

Traders Magazine has been fortunate to have had one of the true pros in journalism as its editor, John Byrne. Under John, Traders Magazine made tremendous strides editorially to reach its lofty perch in the industry. During his tenure, Traders Magazine became a must-read in the industry, and, for that, its readership should be grateful. We wish John well.

Michael Scotti
Editorial Director