FLASH FRIDAY is a weekly content series looking at the past, present and future of capital markets trading and technology. FLASH FRIDAY is sponsored by Instinet, a Nomura company.
Markets Media Group, parent company of Traders Magazine, used to host an annual Summer Trading event in New York City.
As its name suggests, the event was held in the summer, and it was about trading. (Duh)
The idea was to have an afternoon of panel sessions and keynotes, followed by a scenic rooftop networking cocktail hour (or three). It would be held mid-week, Tuesday or Wednesday, to not conflict with people’s early weekend getaway plans. The content would be high-quality of course, but befitting the season, a bit lighter, funner and quicker than your standard fall, winter or spring industry conference. Big institutions such as Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and UBS were well-represented, but also welcome were the ‘little guys’ (and gals) who built trading systems in their proverbial garages, or were developing some other fintech startup to make capital markets more efficient.
The 2011 event, believed to be held at 230 Fifth in midtown Manhattan, was the first of about five or six Summer Tradings, and it was a banner event.
High-frequency trading was the rage at the time, and Manoj Narang, then CEO of Tradeworx, delivered a keynote address on HFT, its challenges and opportunities, and its implications for market participants.
At the beginning of the afternoon, event staff had to keep bringing in additional chairs to accommodate latecomers in the bigger-than-expected crowd. “We had to give wristbands because so many people wanted to gate-crash,” Markets Media CEO Mohan Virdee recalled.
A few panels followed the keynote address, and the panels themselves were deep, with five, six, even seven panelists per session.
After the content, the event adjourned to the rooftop, and the weather gods cooperated. It was warm and sunny, but not too hot or humid, and the sky was blue. The bar was crowded well into the evening.