Catholic University Securities Law Program alumnus Chris Concannon was invited to testify before a Senate Banking subcommittee on Sept. 20 about the complexities of high-speed trading of securities, a widespread practice that has drawn the attention of some lawmakers who are calling for stricter controls.
Accounts of the hearing were published in the Sept. 21 editions of the Wall St. Journal and the Washington Post. Both articles included quotes from Concannon.
Formerly the executive vice president of NASDAQ, Concannon currently holds the same position with Virtu Financial LLC, a high-speed trading firm.
At the most basic level, high-speed trading offers investors highly evolved tools to buy and sell large volumes of securities in milliseconds, allowing them to make small profits on each transaction while building wealth through the sheer numbers of trades made.
The practice is not well understood by many investors, who regard it with suspicion.
Concannon conceded that while such computer driven turbo-trading may have become unwieldy, the practice is mostly confined to sophisticated trading firms buying and selling with each other in ways that don't hurt retail investors.
Concannon has been a strong supporter of the Securities Law Program at the Columbus School of Law, returning when invited to speak at symposia (above left, March 2012) and alumni luncheons.
He will participate once again on Oct. 3, when he serves as a panelist for “High Frequency Trading: Why is it Done? What Are its Dangers?” a program in New York City sponsored by the CUA Securities Law Program Speakers Series.