US trading venue IEX, which has been the focus on intense media coverage since featuring in Michael Lewis’ ‘Flash Boys’ book, is not anti-high-frequency trading (HFT) said its chief strategy officer, Ronan Ryan.
In a live video interview at TradeTech Europe 2014, Ryan said choice was central to the business model of IEX, which does not offer co-location and delays all orders by 350 microseconds to prevent latency arbitrage. He insisted the platform was not specifically anti-HFT and has HFT clients looking to connect.
“We’re talking to a range of HFT firms and some want to connect to the service. Others feel the venue doesn’t really fit with their strategy and some just don’t want to talk to us at all. But we don’t HFT should be banned from the market,” he said.
He said that neither he nor IEX CEO Brad Katsuyama realised Lewis’ book would focus on their stories until shortly before its release.
“We met Michael about a year ago and sat down to share our experiences, but it was only recently that we discovered he would choose to tell the story from Brad’s perspective. Some people have said parts of the book are inaccurate but we didn’t fact check any of it,” Ryan explained.
The book has generated significant interest in IEX, and Ryan said over 100 buy-siders have been in contact to find out more since it was published last week.
“We already had some good traction but in the past couple of weeks the response has been absolutely phenomenal and we’re meeting with a lot of buy-siders and brokers. We don’t regret taking part and we think it sheds a light on something that needs to be investigated.”
However, Ryan does not support the book’s central assertion that the market is structured against the interests of investors, and said: “I don’t think the market is rigged but I do think it could be made work better and that’s why we created IEX.”