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Two Industry Experts Relaunch Market Structure Consulting Firm

Christopher Nagy teamed with Dave Lauer to relaunch KOR Group, focusing on data-backed research, while lobbying for more transparency in U.S. equities market structure.

Do you have a hard time keeping up with your broker’s order routing and execution reports? Can you cite the SEC’s main priorities this year? Were you aware that SROs sent 150 filings to the SEC between January and the first week in February? What about the new tick-size pilot for small and medium sized companies?

With the complexity of market structure in equities and options markets, some firms are unable to keep up with the proliferation of regulatory filings, order routing reports, pilot programs, hearings and roundtables. If they are overlooking changes in market policy and structure, regulatory requirements and technology, this places them at a competitive disadvantage in a fast-paced environment.

To address these concerns, two industry veterans, Christopher Nagy and Dave Lauer, have teamed up to re-launch of KOR Group LLC, an advocacy and consulting firm focused on increasing the transparency in financial markets. The firm will offer a range of services including data-backed research, reporting, consulting, lobbying and market-education workshops.

While coming from two different perspectives—Nagy is a 25 year expert in retail trading and U.S. market structure, and Lauer brings the technologist’s perspective having served as a quantitative analyst for HFT desks, both were surprised by how much they agreed with one another on market structure issues and what needs to be changed.

Nagy, who is CEO of KOR Group, spent 12 years at TD Ameritrade, where he was managing director of order routing, sales strategy and market-data strategy and co-headed the company’s government relations efforts. He has served on the FINRA Uniform Practice Code Committee and has previous held positions on the boards of several equity options exchanges and on industry associations.

As president and managing partner, Lauer has been well-known for building a lot of the high -frequency trading technology in the market at Allston Trading and Citadel Investment Group. “Mine is a technologist’s background in computer science and high frequency trading,” said Lauer, who spent many years as a quantitative analyst and trader at HFT desks. “When I was in that world, it kind of opened my eyes. I had gone into it with different expectations of what I would be doing and of the way that markets work,” said Lauer. He has more recently worked as a technology architect at Verdande Technology, a real-time case-based reasoning technology that analyzes data patterns, and IEX Group, a trading venue owned by a consortium of buy-side firms. Now Lauer is trying to fix things that he contends are broken. “Often you come into it with a fresher set of eyes than people who have been in the industry for a long time,” he said.

While Nagy had already founded KOR Trading as a consulting and lobbying firm in 2012, he felt it needed to do more. He met Lauer last year and both felt there’s an awful lot in market structure experience that they could provide to the industry. “We saw that there was an opportunity to help firms that are under represented in D.C. who lack a voice, but also in terms of the data and information that’s out there,” said Nagy.

They rebuilt their web site and pulled together a monthly newsletter with a lot of data and a database behind it. For example, on any given month, there are well over 100 SRO filings. “Most are confusing, and obscure,” said Nagy. “We break those down, allow user to sort by due date, give a synopsis of that, [and] we recap every single SEC meeting and what the key points are, we also follow a lot of Congressional efforts on market structure on [Reg] NMS that has just happened, we follow that live,” he adds.

Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio

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