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Flash Oys

Rebecca Healey, TABB Group, ‘Flash Boys’ Frenzy Hits London: A Disappointing Story, here.

Who Says the Buy Side Doesn’t Know What’s Going On?

When Mr. Lewis spoke last week at the Royal Geographical Society in London, he claimed that buy-side firms never sit down together, never have a conversation, and don’t understand what is happening. Having personally spent time listening to a buy-side participant walk a regulator through his firm’s technology for scrutinising broker behaviour and monitoring best execution – I simply have no idea who Mr Lewis is referring to. The hapless bunch of individuals he portrays is not representative of the institutions I speak to in Europe.

The claims that the buy side have been ripped off for years may have held sway a decade ago, but I have sat in countless meetings with buy-side and sell-side firms and vendors – all working together to improve the marketplace through the Fix Trading Community (FTC) and other industry bodies. Here in Europe if you are not endeavouring to fix the problem, you are part of the problem.

When I quizzed Mr. Lewis as to why he had chosen to focus solely on IEX, and not Liquidnet or Nanex or any of the countless FTC initiatives to counter HFT, his defence was: “I was telling a story.” The problem is that the “story” is one-sided.

IEX has received great feedback from buy-side clients I have spoken with since summer 2013. And while Brad Katsuyama is doing a fantastic job, he is one of many who are doing the best they can – in whatever form that may take – to improve the functioning of the markets. Only impartial, rigorous debate based on evidence will deliver real improvements over time.

I read somewhere “Europe is where History comes from” maybe Izzard DK forget  – predictably Lewis is gonna have a problem.

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