Brad Katsuyama is the co-founder and CEO of the Investors Exchange (IEX), which thwarts predatory high-frequency trading (HFT). HFT uses computers to make many trades in a fraction of a second, which Katsuyama argues is used by some in an unfair way. Katsuyama and IEX came to prominence as the stars of Michael Lewis‘ 2014 bestseller “Flash Boys.” IEX will list its first company in October, a major turning point for the exchange. Katsuyama does not consider himself a natural entrepreneur, but was compelled to start IEX out of a fierce belief that he could help fight what he deemed a rigged system.
Brad Katsuyama has never considered himself a maverick or anything like an entrepreneur. Before founding the Investors Exchange (IEX), he had a cushy job as an executive at the Royal Bank of Canada.
But the more he learned about high-frequency trading — where computers can trade a bunch of stocks in a fraction of a second — the less comfortable he felt. He felt so strongly that high-frequency trading was harming the market that he set out on a path to create his own exchange, where predatory trading was thwarted.
Investors can trade stocks from other exchanges on the IEX, with the idea that it’s a level playing field. And in October it will list its first company, Interactive Brokers.
As CEO, Katsuyama has adapted to being the face of the IEX. But when Michael Lewis wrote a book about him, in 2014, the best-selling “Flash Boys,” he felt a bit in over his head.
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Transcript edited for clarity.
Brad Katsuyama: I had never been on television, live television, until “60