Jim Toes is President & CEO of the Security Traders Association (STA).
What were the key theme(s) for your business in 2021?
The key themes that would appear on everyone’s list are the rise of retail trading and cryptocurrency. While neither theme is new to our markets, both experienced exponential growth and attention, which we anticipate will greatly influence the regulatory agenda for the foreseeable future in 2022 and beyond.
What was the highlight of 2021?
The overwhelmingly positive response we received from members who attended our 88th Annual Market Structure Conference in October created a renewed sense of confidence in STA’s role within our industry. Providing the opportunity for people to safely gather and connect in-person demonstrated one of our guiding principles: relationships matter.
What are your expectations for 2022?
As the new year begins and regulatory bodies consider policy changes, we expect that the SEC will remain extremely active within rule filings with short comment periods, particularly those 30-day periods. While the impact of this approach on both policy quality and effectiveness is yet to be determined, the industry should prepare to engage at a pace that it is not accustomed to.
Who were the most important/influential people in your industry in 2021?
Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev. While his influence may have waned toward the end of the year, his and Robinhood’s ability to attract new investors to our markets is remarkable. He created a rising tide that led to a monumental growth of first-time investors across all self-directed platforms.
Who will be an influential person in 2022 that the industry may be surprised to see?
SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw. Following Commissioner Elad Roisman’s decision to step down from his position, we expect that the open seat will not be filled in 2022, resulting in four votes being cast on Chairman Gary Gensler’s agenda items. Having worked for former Commissioner Robert Jackson, who was a strong independent thinker, Commissioner Crenshaw has the potential to establish herself as an influential decision-maker behind the scenes.