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February 1, 2011

Institutional Traders of Ohio Unite

By Gregory Bresiger

The Cleveland Security Traders Association has changed its name in an effort to raise its profile. On Jan. 1, it rebranded itself as the Ohio Security Traders Association.

Geff Gioia

The name was changed to appeal to a broader group of sales and trading professionals, said OSTA president Geff Gioia.

"One of the primary reasons we did this was because the people down in Columbus and Cincinnati didn't have the membership privileges that comes along with the STA," Gioia said.

Another benefit of the newly named STA affiliate is that it will give the group a stronger voice, particularly in Washington, now that "the Ohio traders will be speaking in unison."

Gioia added that OSTA will be more effective since it will speak for an entire state, instead of just one corner of it.

Membership in the new organization will total about 80, roughly a 30 percent increase over CSTA. Gioia is hopeful that OSTA will reach 100 members in the next few years.

The new group also will expand the quality of the membership. Traditionally, CSTA had mostly consisted of traders. Now, OSTA will try to recruit more sales personnel--both sales traders who cover accounts and salespeople who bring in accounts.

Gioia said the new expanded chapter will be able to devote more time to educational seminars and to discussing the needs of members. OSTA will also work with regulators to develop market structure rules, he added, noting that finding liquidity is the greatest need of his professionals.

"With the way the markets are set up now, markets are still highly fragmented," Gioia said. "Finding liquidity at times can be next to impossible."

Gioia, a 17-year veteran, is a sales trader with Longbow Research in Independence, Ohio.

He began as a buyside trader with Armada Funds in 1993. He joined Roulston & Co. on the sellside from 1994 to 1996. He also had stints with Midwest Research and FTN Equity Capital Markets, until he joined Longbow last year.


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