by Jon Schneider, ITG, Inc.
Hello. I am Jon Schneider and I have the honor of serving as your STA Chairman for 2017. For those who don’t already know, STA is a grassroots, financial services industry group comprised of independent organizations, run by volunteers across North America. Over the past eight years I have had the pleasure of being a part of the STA board and have witnessed, like many of you, great change and evolution in our industry. My reasons for being involved are similar to those shared by the more than 250 individuals who serve on STA affiliate boards every year; a passion to be involved and a desire to be proactive, instead of reacting to the changes that are occurring in our industry.
Our market structure today is the result of efforts by many participants as well as interpretations and comments on various regulatory decisions. The diversity of market participants is reflected in the makeup of STA and therefore as an organization we remain well positioned to provide thought leadership as issues are debated. STA finds its strength in the respect we give to our history, guiding principles and values. Some of which include that changes to market structure need to protect investors, be based on empirical data and improve the market’s overall operational soundness. We do not focus solely on any one business model.
Our market structure committee system represents some of the best and brightest thought leaders in the industry. It is through their diverse insights that STA is able to present opinions that are well vetted.
Our markets are, in a sense, a living, breathing ecosystem, one that requires thoughtful care and corrective, but not intrusive, maintenance. There are many challenges to our complex and fragmented market structure. We all take some amount of pride and ownership for our industry and we hope that you view STA as a positive vehicle through which to get involved. Since STA is a reflection of our industry, we as an association have had to evolve as well. As such, we are always looking for new participants. We possess a strong drive to build and maintain a reputation for thought leadership within our grassroots efforts.
Our challenge today is how we prepare so that we can respond to our ever-changing circumstances. We will be presented with several opportunities, yet again, in 2017 to participate in the regulatory process. Our market structure committee system represents some of the best and brightest thought leaders in the industry. It is through their diverse insights that STA is able to present opinions that are well vetted.
Members of the 2017 STA Board of Governors look forward to helping you promote order and efficiency in our industry. We have the information, talented leadership and, most important the relationships to ensure that we continue to grow in the right direction and support our U.S. market structure as a global benchmark.
Planning is already underway for the 84th Annual STA Market Structure Conference, taking place September 13-15, 2017 in Washington DC. Last year more than 650 people from the financial industry gathered to hear from congressman, regulators, broker dealers, investment firms, exchanges and industry-specific panels. As some of you are aware, we also scheduled meetings for STA affiliate organizations, to meet with their local congressional representative and staffers on the Hill.
In closing, I want to congratulate STA Chicago on another great Mid-Winter Meeting. Again, I encourage each of you to get more involved, to learn, to be proactive and to remember that this is still a people business. STA is only as strong as it members.