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STA Preps for Annual DC Market Structure Conference

Traders Magazine Online News, September 26, 2018

John D'Antona Jr.

Ernest and Mr. Smith aren’t the only ones going to Washington.

As the leaves prepare for their yearly turn of color, hundreds of the industry’s biggest names from the world of market structure will soon gather in the nation’s capital for the Security Traders Association’s annual conference. This year’s event – titled “Shaping the Future” – will again be held at the JW Marriott, from October 3-5, and feature the usual bevy of panelists and speakers from the trading community’s leading regulators and buy-side, sell-side, exchange and vendor firms. The conference’s agenda can be found here.

In an interview with Traders Magazine, STA President and CEO Jim Toes noted that the impact of the pace of regulatory and technology change will continue to be a key theme of the event.

“Our industry has always been impacted by regulations and technology to some extent. But you’d be hard pressed to find a time when these influences have been more impactful than now. There will be a lot of discussion about the potential evolution of existing regulations and the impact of recently implemented rules and new ones coming down the pike.”

Toes also noted that this year’s program will feature larger roles for the buy side and women, highlighted by the STA’s #PutHerOnThePanel push.

The conference kicks off on Wednesday, October 3rd with the STA Women in Finance Symposium. The day continues with interviews of TD Ameritrade President and CEO Tim Hockey, FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook and Congressman Bill Huizenga before concluding with a panel that looks at various equity market regulatory initiatives.

Day two features a full slate of panels covering a broad range of topics, such as exchange-traded funds, cryptocurrencies, the Consolidated Audit Trail, listed options and the evolution of the buy- and sell-side relationship. The day also features a one-on-one interview of SEC Director of Trading and Markets Brett Redfearn by Citadel Securities’ Joe Mecane.

The final day kicks off with a 5K Run/3K Walk through the DC National Mall to benefit Wall Street Rides FAR, an annual cycling event founded by Cboe’s Bryan Harkins and held each October in Westchester for the benefit of the Autism Science Foundation. Friday morning’s agenda is highlighted by a buy-side panel moderated by Luminex CEO Jonathan Clark and concludes with a talk by Charles Cook of The Cook Political Report.

Toes said he expects the conference to inspire open and active conversations surrounding major technology themes such as Big Data, AI and Blockchain, as well as discussion of how MiFID II has begun impacting North American firms, both large and small, since its January implementation.

“As always, our goal is to provide best content, the best networking opportunities and of course the best value to our constituents,” Toes said of this year’s program.

Toes projects approximately 650 to 700 attendees at the 2018 confab, with 25% of them being women. He also expects the buy side’s attendance to continue to grow, with institutional managers from 50-60 firms being present, making them the second largest contingent after the sell side.

“We’re extremely proud of the program we’ve put together this year. With folks like UBS Asset Management’s Suni Harford, former SEC Commissioner Troy Paredes, Brett Redfearn and all the way down the lineup, I don’t think there’s ever been a year where we’ve had a broader and more influential array of opinion shapers from across the industry involved in our conference.”

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