1 year ago - 5 minute read

Meet the Speakers: Ronan Ryan, the flash boy trying to change the world of financial trading


Flash Boy Ronan Ryan is at war with the financial world. In his previous life he worked to transform Wall Street into an algorithmically driven high-frequency trading sector, but after seeing the darker side he decided to take on the system he helped create. Ronan defected to start-up exchange IEX and his focus is now on using technology to try and bring some fairness back into the system.

Ronan is a visionary who understands how technology is changing the world of trading and the wider financial markets for both better and worse. He’s seen the benefits and damages caused when technology makes rapid and meaningful transformation possible and when these big leaps forward are taken without full transparency or even knowledge from the wider world.

At the Matchbook Traders Conference he will discuss in a private and frank session what he’s learned from his time at the leading edge of the high-frequency trading revolution, why he’s now trying to change things for the better and what this means for all of us.

Ronan Ryan: President of IEX

Ronan Ryan is the president of The Investor Exchange (IEX), a start-up stock exchange dedicated to investor protection. It’s been designed from the bottom up to protect traders from predatory strategies that seek to capitalise on the shift to high-frequency trading that has taken place over the past decade. You can read more about it in this Reuters article.

Ronan came on board when the founder of IEX approached him to learn more about the then emerging world of high frequency trading. He said he learned more from talking to Ronan in an hour “than I learned from six months of reading” and set about recruiting him to the team. Ronan is now the chief strategy officer for IEX and a leading expert on trading technology and infrastructure.

Ronan at the Traders Conference

Ronan will be taking part in a fireside chat in a private session with no media permitted where he will give his thoughts about the world of high frequency trading, the technology that is powering the financial world today and what may come in the future. In a frank and open discussion he will explain why he’s focused on creating a fairer and more transparent trading network for everyone and how technology is helping solve the problems of the past.

Ronan will also look at the parallels between the exchange betting sector, sports trading and the technology revolution that has taken place in the financial world. We will explore what the two worlds can learn from each other, how technology can continue to drive exchange trading forward and the risks and pitfalls everyone needs to be aware of. In short, Ronan will define the role technology will play in the future of trading.

Why should you be interested?

If you have read the Flash Boys book where Ronan plays a key role you will need no more incentive to come along and hear first-hand how he views the past, present and future of financial trading. But even if you haven’t then whether you’re a stock market trader or a sports betting trader or anywhere in-between there is a huge amount to learn from this off the record chat with one of the sharpest minds in finance.

Technology has radically altered both the financial trading and the sports trading worlds and the two have far more parallels than they do differences. And there are big lessons to learn from the upheaval Ronan has witnessed first-hand on the biggest stock market in the world. If you’re not interested in what Ronan has to say then you’ve probably not been paying attention to the past and you definitely aren’t prepared for the future.

Where can I find out more about him?

Read Flash Boys, by Michael Lewis. This rollercoaster read from the author of the Big Short is probably the most accessible book written on the high frequency trading phenomenon and one of the best books ever written on the financial world. You can also follow Ronan on LinkedIn.

Click here to purchase tickets for the Matchbook Traders Conference