An Interview with Brad Katsuyama of IEX

2 minutes with the CEO of America’s newest stock exchange

Who are you?

Brad Katsuyama, CEO and Co-Founder of IEX, which is America’s newest stock exchange.

What do you do?

IEX is a fair, simple & transparent stock exchange. We are a financial technology company, we match buyers and sellers through proprietary technology, and are interconnected to the largest banks, brokers, and investors who trade US stocks.

My job requires a little bit of everything. I’m a former trader, and sat in the customer’s seat for most of my career. As a result, I’m a product-driven CEO involved in product design, sales, marketing, and have to educate people on what the stock market actually is (it’s not what you see on TV). The stock exchange is now more about microseconds, and co-locating servers, microwave connectivity and high speed data.

IEX is the stock exchange that is trying to disrupt the existing exchanges. Other exchanges actually sell advantages to a narrow group of high-speed traders, who then use those advantages to profit from long-term investors (like mutual funds and pension funds). We at IEX are working very hard to level the playing field for the ordinary investor.

How does what you do affect a “regular” (non-finance) person?

More than half of all Americans have some form of investment in the stock market, mostly in a pension fund, mutual fund, or some other pooled vehicle.

IEX is backed by a group of mutual funds and investors who wanted an alternative to those exchanges who care more about speed than real investing. IEX is probably best known for our “speed bump” which gives us the chance to protect long-term investors by slowing down trades by 350 millionths of a second. We execute $5 to $10 billion dollars’ worth of trades on a daily basis and our rules and technology are designed so that every share traded receives the fairest price possible. These trades are someone’s retirement, or someone’s down payment for a new home, so we do our best every day to protect as many investors as we can.

This interview was conducted by Kim Ann Curtin on behalf of Finimize. She is a professional keynote speaker, Executive Coach, Founder of The Wall Street Coach, and the author of Transforming Wall Street, which features interviews with the good guys of Wall Street about how they withstood compromising their integrity and kept their values intact. Her interviewees in the book include Brad Katsuyama, John Bogle, Fred Wilson, Bill Ackman, Jim Rogers, Amy Domini, Oswald Grubel, Henry Kaufman, Robert Monks, and John Whitehead. Kim helps executives accelerate their personal and professional success through consciousness so they can obtain wealth and meaning. Since the financial market crashed in October 2008, she has been working to build a more optimistic and sustainable vision for the finance industry.

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