by Rory O’Kane

Hello, I am Rory O’Kane of KCG and the 2015 Chairman of the Board for the Security Traders Association (STA). As we begin a new year, I would like to wish all of you good health and success. Undoubtedly, 2015 will be characterized by continued debate and review of our industry. As you look for accurate and unbiased information on the issues, we hope that you will turn to the STA for information. Being a part of the STA for over thirty years, I have seen this organization evolve. This evolution has brought changes to what STA does, but not to what STA represents. As an association of individuals serving individuals, we believe that the relationship matters. It always has, it always will.

I would like to share with you excerpts from a speech given last week at the 89th Annual STA Chicago, STAC conference. I think that it serves as an example of what the STA strives to be. The speech starts with informative regulatory and legislative updates and then closes with a story about two individuals and the legacies they passed onto others. Legacies built upon relationships and service to others. I hope that you enjoy the read and I look forward to serving you in the coming year. Thank you.

“…yet he always treated me, and everyone, as if I was his best customer and a friend. That’s quite a legacy to leave and those are the people that make STA and our industry great.”

STAC and STA have seen more change in the last six years than any since the founding of both organizations in 1930’s.

To those in this room—we’re survivors. We have made it to 2015. We’re a little greyer than last year, our ranks may have been thinned through consolidation and other reasons; But we get up each day here, in New York, in Charlotte, in Los Angeles, in St. Louis and other STA affiliate cities throughout the US and Canada. We continue to push and advocate on behalf of our clients, our firms and the industry we are proud to be a part of.

Gathering here and at affiliate conferences throughout the year, we share our experiences, learn something new, rekindle friendships and hopefully become a little better at what we do.

As we know, Washington D.C. continues to have a large influence in matters which impact us. Our markets continue to evolve. The only constant is us, the individual practitioner. We represent the greatest capital formation and financial service industry in the world. Together in 2015, we will once again work together to make our markets better. We will base our opinions on empirical data and industry input, your input.

Last June, SEC Chair Mary Jo White – building upon a speech she gave at STA’s 2013 Washington DC conference – gave a major policy presentation outlining the SEC’s road map for 2015. As an organization comprised of individuals with diverse skill sets or business models, we are uniquely positioned to offer input which is well vetted. Diversity is a core strength of the STA, and it requires your input in order for it to work. So please, we are here to serve and we are also here to challenge you to be involved and take ownership on the outcomes of issues which impact us all.

In conclusion, I want to take a moment to reflect on the passing of two long-time STAC members in 2014, Lee Buleri and Jimmy Dougall. They were the epitome of what ‘Dictum Meum Pactum’ represents. Lee’s passing is especially poignant to me as he made many introductions on my behalf circa 1996, when we were just starting Rom-Bo. I knew next to nothing about the equities market making business and the people in it. I’d only have an order or two per quarter to Sherwood (as OMMs, we didn’t trade a lot of OTC-type stocks back then) yet he always treated me, and everyone, as if I was his best customer and a friend. That’s quite a legacy to leave and those are the people that make STA and our industry great.

Thank you STAC for another great conference. This event is always extremely satisfying to me and makes the Chicago’s winters a little warmer.

I’d like to now, introduce, Congressman Bill Foster

Representative Foster is a scientist and businessman representing Illinois’ 11th congressional district, which encompasses parts of Chicago’s Cook county, out to the western suburbs .

Read the full January Newsletter >