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Memoirs of a Minyan: Whaddya Say Y2K?


The purpose of the journey is the journey itself.

I tried to separate his online persona from our internal dynamic, sometimes successfully and other times in vain, and our first few months were blissful as profits padded our portfolio. While I struggled when I started at Morgan Stanley (MS) and Galleon, I was immediately at ease when I arrived each morning at the head of the desk.

As part of my charge, I was responsible for the implementation of risk management systems, commission allocation to our trading partners and staffing decisions on the desk.

The status quo that preceded my arrival would quickly change; I was ready to put my fingerprints on the operation.

The New Kid in Town

It all seemed very strange. We actively traded $400 million and calculated the profit or loss by hand each day. The actual number, along with trade errors, arrived from Goldman Sachs (GS) the following afternoon.

Our offices were on 40 Fulton Street adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge. There were a dozen or so full-time employees, including three clerks directly under my charge. They made multiple-six figure salaries for executing orders on behalf of Jim and Jeff, which seemed awfully extravagant given my experience on the Street.

Within a few months, I ushered through several changes. The clerks were replaced with young guns that had skill-sets accretive to the trading process. Their base salaries were low but there was no ceiling if we produced.

Eat what you kill.

We installed a state-of-the-art risk management system that allowed us to monitor our performance in real-time and "stress test" various market scenarios.

I met with the desk heads of our brokers and told them commission would be correlated to their idea generation and the liquidity they provided.

It was pure meritocracy, within our walls and with regard to our relationships. We were tough but fair and always operated within the letter of the law.

Word of our approach quickly spread and our firm hummed like a well-oiled machine.

We got the first call from brokers when analysts changed a rating on a stock. Head traders communicated the directional flow from their most respected accounts and I was always quick to offer my opinion in an attempt to establish good will.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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