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April 1, 2014

KOR Opens Consultancy, Lobby Firm

Christopher Nagy's firm rebrands itself and refocuses on regulatory consultancy and market advocacy in order to provide more transparency.

By John D'Antona Jr.

After several months of reorganizing, KOR Trading has again stepped out into the consultancy business. The new KOR Group is not only a consultancy for all things market structure, but also an official lobbying group to help promote equity market transparency and other industry interests.

KOR Group is backed by two equities industry powerhouses: Christopher Nagy and David Lauer. As both said in a recent interview with Traders, the financial services' professionals are a good fit for their new venture. The two look to take their vast equity market experiences, Nagy from an execution perspective and Lauer from a technology view, and provide clients a complete and well-rounded view of the market-from regulation to order routing, data presentation to advocacy.

Chris Nagy

Nagy is no stranger to the equity markets and a celebrity of sorts. As KOR's chief executive, he brings 25 years of retail trading and U.S. market structure experience to the company. Previously, Nagy spent 12 years at TD Ameritrade as the managing director of order routing, sales strategy and market-data strategy and co-headed the company's government relations efforts. He is also a registered lobbyist.

Lauer, who serves as president and managing partner, is also no stranger to the market. He has previously worked as a technology architect at Verdande Technology and IEX Group, as public advocate at Better Markets and in electronic trading at Allston Trading and Citadel Investment Group. He too is a registered lobbyist.

According to the two, the highly complex and ever-evolving financial services industry suffers from a lack of market transparency. In response to this issue, KOR Group was created as an advocacy and consultation firm dedicated to increasing transparency in financial services. The firm offers data-backed research and reporting, consulting, lobbying and market education workshops to its clients to help them navigate regulatory and compliance issues.

Nagy and Lauer offer clients views from opposite ends of the spectrum-Nagy from the perspective of retail brokers and Lauer from financial technology and high-frequency trading firms.

"Firms are overlooking-or are ill equipped to understand-changes to market policy and structure, regulatory requirements and technology offerings, putting them in dire straits in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced environment," Nagy told Traders. "It made sense for both of us to team up tackle these issues together."

In the middle of 2013, the two formed KOR Trading, but were focused on other separate projects such as Prairie Smarts, a venture Nagy partnered in that marketed risk management software. As 2013 drew to a close, the two saw that market structure education and transparency were still underserved and decided to focus KOR's resources there.