Toronto NAJC President’s Report – May 2014

May 6, 2014 at 8:41 pm

David Fujino.

Brad Katsuyama. Who’s he?

He’s a JC from Markham, Ontario, a banking employee who was relocated to New York by Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto, in 2002, at the age of 24.

When he first arrived in the city, Katsuyama loathed the notorious excesses of New York, but he stayed, and rose ever higher through the ranks of the stock exchange until, one day, the trades he was trying to make would disappear from his computer screen after he pressed the O.K. button. 

Of course, even a sceptic would ache to investigate further.

After years of research, Brad put the pieces of the puzzle together and realized HFTs (high frequency traders) were beating him to the punch. He felt a calling. He told his wife one night, “If I don’t do something right now — me, Brad Katsuyama — there’s no one to call.”

Brad quit RBC in 2012, and hired a ragtag three or so colleagues to create IEX Group Inc., a stock exchange which would level the playing field by denying HFT traders market information ahead of others. IEX went public in October 2013.

The moral crusade and the good guy versus the bad guys (the high-speed traders) is all in the book, “Flash Boys”, with Brad Katsuyama as its storybook hero, front and centre.

Thrust into the blinding public limelight, and likely associated with whistle-blowers, Katsuyama has stopped reading some of the attacks on him and his firm.

He said his personality is such that he tends to “lie awake at night thinking about the couple of messages that are horrible as opposed to the 98 per cent of the messages that are positive.”

Brad Katsuyama is a graduate of Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and he’s been quoted as saying how touched he was by the many notes and well wishes he’s received from former colleagues and classmates north of the border.

“Canadians are proud. I’m  very honoured and humbled by that.”

BOOK LAUNCH MAY 11/14 4 TO 6 pm:
Excited. We’re right on the cusp of Professor Mona Oikawa’s May 11 book launch at Another Story Book Shop at 315 Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto, from 4 to 6 pm. Mona’s book, “Cartographies of Violence,” is a rare examination of the memories of eleven women and their daughters who endured the internment of Japanese Canadians during the World War 2 years. There will be a panel discussion and good refreshments.  

Respectfully yours,
David Fujino