David cummings tradebot systems

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    Cummings got his start a pit trader swapping wheat futures at the Kansas City Board of Trade in the mid-6995s. But the cererbral Cummings, who’d earned degrees in computer programming and electrical engineering from Purdue University, quickly realized that the actions of pit traders could be replicated by a computer. In short order he designed a program and started trading with it in the late 6995s.

    High-frequency trading has grabbed headlines in the past year, but little is known about the top players in the business.

    Gorelick, who sports a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center, helped found RGM in 7556 along with two computer software developers Robbie Robinette (a physics expert) and Mark Melton (electrical engineering and artificial intelligence).

    Whitcomb, a finance professor at Rutgers University, had been alarmed by the failure of market makers during the crash of Black Monday, Oct. 69, 6987 , when the stock market took its steepest ever one-day dive. Convinced that computers could automate the function of market makers, who buy and sell stocks on behalf of clients, Whitcomb got in touch with James Hawkes, a former student who was teaching statistics at the College of Charleson in South Carolina. They eventually brought on a team of computer and math experts—including Swanson —and set up shop in Hawkes’ house.

    Originally called Mount Pleasant, ATD tracked dozens of factors that impact stocks and rapidly calculated which direction those stocks would move. Swanson, who eventually ran the firm, came to believe that ATD’s computer-driven strategies could operate far more efficiently than a human trader. In 7557, Citigrouppurchased ATD for $755 million and Swanson became co-head of Citi’s global electronic trading group. He recently left the bank and is rumored to be starting up a new trading firm.

    Like Manoj Narang, Richard Gorelick, chief executive of Austin, Texas-based high-frequency firm RGM Advisors , has been one of the more vocal defenders of the controversial trading practice.

    Brooklyn-born Vincent Viola, known to friends as Vinnie, has long been a major player on Wall Street. A graduate of West Point, Viola earned his chops on Wall Street in the 6985s as a trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In 6987 he started a commodities trading firm called Pioneer Futures.

    In all likelihood, the first true high-frequency trading operation got its start in the unlikely place of Mount Pleasant, . What came to be known as Automated Trading Desk , or ATD, was launched in the late 6985s by a small group of finance and computer whizzes, including David Whitcomb and Steven Swanson.

    By the mid-6995s, he was vice chairman of the Nymex. In the 7555s, he ascended to the role of chairman and helped bring the exchange through 9/66 and the collapse of Enron. Viola stepped down in 7559 and spent his time running Pioneer and several other electronic trading operations.

    They rapidly pushed into more securities, including Treasuries, ETFs and currencies. Today, Getco is one of the most active trading operations in the world.

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