EMA hosts congressional staff briefing on ‘Anatomy of a Trade’

Leading the discussion of the Equity Markets Association congressional staff briefing were Frank Hatheway of NASDAQ (left) and Stacey Cunningham of the NYSE Group.

Leading the discussion of the Equity Markets Association congressional staff briefing were Frank Hatheway of NASDAQ (left) and Stacey Cunningham of the NYSE Group.

A fair and transparent marketplace open to all investors is key to ensuring companies can access the capital they need to expand their businesses and create jobs, two market officials said Wednesday at a congressional staff briefing.

The briefing was hosted by the Equity Markets Association, on which Intercontinental Exchange, Inc., the parent company of NYSE Group, and NASDAQ are founding members. More than 5,000 companies are publically traded on the EMA members’ exchanges.

Click here to download the PowerPoint distributed to congressional staff during the briefing for staff of the House Financial Services Committee and staff of lawmakers who serve on the committee. The briefing, “Anatomy of a Trade,” was designed to provide staff with visibility into how trades are executed, from retail investors trading through online services to market makers.

Stacey Cunningham, chief operating officer of the NYSE Group, and Frank Hatheway, NASDAQ’s chief economist, led the discussion into the mechanics of how trade orders are executed. 

“We’re all fundamentally in the trust business,” Hatheway said. “Stock markets should work for all investors, and you shouldn’t have to be sophisticated to benefit from them.”

Cunningham said it’s incumbent on the exchanges to be transparent and educate consumers – as well as federal policymakers – to ensure investors can effectively participate in the market.

Michael Williams (left) and former Congressman Mike Ferguson participated in the Equity Markets Association congressional staff briefing. Ferguson and Williams serve as EMA co-directors.

Michael Williams (left) and former Congressman Mike Ferguson participated in the Equity Markets Association congressional staff briefing. Ferguson and Williams serve as EMA co-directors.

“Because of the complex systems involved in trading equities, it’s important that we educate consumers,” Cunningham said. “Transparency and openness helps to protect investors, especially those who may not have specialized knowledge.”

EMA co-directors former Congressman Mike Ferguson and Michael Williams also participated in the briefing. 

In additional to providing congressional staff with an overview of U.S. equity markets, the briefing also focused on market participants, regulatory structure and how trade orders are executed.

This was the first of a series of EMA-hosted briefings for congressional staff. Additional briefings will focus on the role of a self-regulatory organization, market data, the impact of a financial transaction tax and cybersecurity issues.