Hudson River Trading
Hudson River Trading (HRT) is a multi-asset class quantitative trading firm, and more specifically a high-frequency trading (HFT) firm, based in New York City and founded in 2002. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is responsible for about 5% of all stock trading in the United States.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, although HRT is often classified as engaging in high-frequency trading, it claims to differ from stereotypical HFT firms in several important ways: it holds about 25% of its trading capital overnight (unlike most HFT firms that hold almost nothing overnight), its average holding time is about five minutes as opposed to the sub-second times observed for some HFT firms, and it does less than 1% of its trading in dark pools, the lightly regulated private trading venues under scrutiny from regulators.
HRT head of business development Adam Nunes has defended the company's (and other HFT firms') practice of buying fast access to raw feeds of market data from stock exchanges at a price of $180,000 a year, noting that before HFT firms started doing it, the option was also available to, and exercised by, many Wall Street traders.
The company hires programmers, software engineers, and mathematicians to develop and improve its proprietary trading strategies. HRT head of business development Adam Nunes has been cited in a Wall Street Journal article on HFT firms' efforts to recruit programming talent away from Silicon Valley, and his reasons for optimism about their ability to do so.
Political scrutiny and lobbying
High-frequency trading practices have repeatedly come under regulatory scrutiny. To more effectively communicate its point of view with regulators and lawmakers, HRT, along with three other quantitative trading firms (Quantlab Financial, Global Trading Systems LLC, and Tower Research Capital LLC), formed a trade group called the Modern Markets Initiative in January 2014. In August 2014, Bart Chilton, former commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and critic of high-frequency trading, was added as an advisor to the group.
In March 2014, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a probe into high-frequency traders such as Hudson River Trading getting early access to raw stock market feeds at an annual price of $180,000. HRT head of business development Adam Nunes defended the company's business practices in statements made to NewsWeek, noting that Wall Street traders also had access to the feeds at the same price and many of them already made use of them.
According to the opensecrets.org website run by the Center for Responsive Politics, HRT has made $120,000 in political contributions since 2009 and spent $2.4 million on political lobbying since 2009.
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