“Da Bears” and “Da STA”
by Rory O’Kane
I was working on the CBOE in 1985 when the Bears took the NFL by storm and won their first Super Bowl, against this year’s champion the New England Patriots. Back then the Bears looked like a dynasty in the making. They had Mike Ditka, that stout defense, Walter Payton, and all those characters. No change needed or wanted was the consensus among fans. If we took a survey the week after that Super Bowl asking everyone which one of these teams will go on to play in 7 more Super Bowls and win 4, the results on a national level would have been predominately for “Da Bears”. Easy answer-easy decision with what we knew and witnessed back then. But the data today now tells us it would have been the wrong answer.
"As practitioners, we suit up each day in Chicago, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and, yes Boston and elsewhere. We continue to push and advocate on behalf of our clients and our firms."
Rules changed, personnel changed, coaches changed and ownership changed. Lots of changes, much like our industry. Looking back at our business landscape circa 1995, Herzog and Mayer ruled the OTC world, NYSE and NASDAQ for Listed/NMS - for all practical matters. There were no order handling rules, no Reg ATS, no dual-listings, no Reg NMS and linkage on ITS took minutes. It’s a very different world today in so many ways. Market fragmentation proliferates, HFT is here to stay, compliance and regulation requirements grow heavier and Washington DC has become the center of financial services. With all of this change however, our industry is still the envy of the world. We’re #1. Our industry is the “Financial Super Bowl Champion” year in and year out, and WE are all part of that team.
Our industry continues to face changes brought about through the challenges of constant technology advancements, unrelenting competition and historic high levels of legislative and regulatory involvement. As practitioners, we suit up each day in Chicago, New York, Toronto, Los Angeles and, yes Boston and elsewhere. We continue to push and advocate on behalf of our clients and our firms.
We gather at STA affiliate conferences to share our experiences, we try to learn something new, get the latest street intelligence and become a little better at what we do.
I firmly believe all of our efforts reap benefits for our customers who have never had faster, cheaper and more broader access to financial products, available nearly 24/7.
Regarding the STA, I will simply restate what others before me have said; no other financial services industry organization is more diverse and more valuable to the Washington regulators and legislators than the STA. That diversity, representing the buyside, sellside, exchanges, technology providers, and many others is our strength. We hear that every time we are in Washington. We believe each STA member has a unique perspective, but together our team goal is to make our markets better. To keep our capital market system the envy of the world.
Thank you and all the best in 2015.
Dictum Meum Pactum