November 09, 2010

High-frequency trading firms are beginning to pay to play.

According to a Bloomberg News report, companies like Getco and Quantlab Financial are looking to combat a stricter regulatory environment by lavishing checks on politicians and hiring lobbyists to do their bidding in Washington.

And soon-to-be House majority leader Eric Cantor, along with several other incoming Republican senators are among the top recipients, Bloomberg reports.

From Bloomberg:

Cantor, who helped spearhead his party's successful campaign to win the House back from Democrats, has been among the largest recipients of contributions from the industry, with he and his political action committee taking in $23,000 since last year, records show.

On Oct. 5, 2009, for example, eight top executives from Chicago-based Getco, including the chief executive officer, general counsel and chief financial officer, gave Cantor more than $10,000, records show.

He collected $1,400 the same day from James Simons, the legendary founder of Renaissance Technologies Corp., a hedge fund that engages in high-frequency trading. Other firms whose employees have contributed money to Cantor include Tradelink LLC and Traditum Group LLC.

No one at Getco has asked Cantor to discuss regulatory policy with the SEC, spokeswoman Sophie Sohn said.

As the Senior Editor of Advanced Trading, Justin Grant plays a key role in steering the magazine's coverage of the latest issues affecting the buy-side trading community. Since joining Advanced ...