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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November 1, 2013

Trailblazers

How WallachBeth Capital's Jennica Ross, BoA's Bina Kalola, Alden Global's Johanna Rossi and other pioneers are changing the way trading is done

By

John D'Antona Jr.

Trading is and always has been a man's world. But there are exceptions to every rule. Women in trading have made their imprint on an industry that has not always been female-friendly. Welcome to "Wall Street Women: A Celebration of Excellence." This issue features 15 award-winning women who have placed their mark of success upon the Street-and as a result, are being honored for their accomplishments.

According to a New York-based Wall Street executive placement firm, women are still underrepresented on today's trading floors. A recent survey the firm conducted tells the tale: Of 2,392 people who work in front-office roles in financial services in the U.S., 91 percent are male and 9 percent are female. The firm told Traders Magazine this is in line with other statistics in its report, that around 10 percent of front-office professionals in finance are women.

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The survey included firms of all types: banks, boutiques, broker-dealers, hedge funds, asset management firms and family offices.

While a small number of women have survived the tumult of Wall Street, the great ones have truly thrived. The winners' stories of leadership, perseverance, assertiveness and charity are inspiring to both women and men, young and old.

This year, the third annual Wall Street Women event will be held Nov. 6 at the Essex House in New York City. The keynote address will be delivered by Stephanie Ruhle, an anchor for Bloomberg Television. She serves as co-host of "Market Makers," airing on the network weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern. Offscreen and away from her desk, Ruhle plays an active role in women's leadership and business leader development, as well. She founded the Corporate Investment Bank Women's Network and co-chaired the Women on Wall Street steering committee.

Ruhle helps set the example for women on Wall Street on how to be successful and told Traders Magazine that despite gains for many women, there is still work to be done. Although women are increasing their skill sets, becoming more tenacious and mastering the networking circuit, they still lag behind their male counterparts for the big jobs.

"Unfortunately, there's been more progress for women when it comes to networking and flag-waving, which in theory is good, but they are not leading to gains in getting the top jobs," Ruhle told Traders Magazine. "It's really in the hands of women to get those big jobs that banks and hedge funds say they are willing to give. We need to push ourselves."

The days of waiting for a company, supervisor or male colleague to tap a woman on the shoulder or passively recommend a female are over, Ruhle added. Women, she said, need to make their own breaks and, in some cases, create their own luck.