With strong views on the way in which securities are traded and never lost for words, the swashbuckling Matthew Andresen is charismatic and colourful. A talented fencer, he originally moved to New York to pursue fencing as a sporting career. Once in New York, with a national fencing title to his credit and an attempt at Olympic competition behind him, Andresen moved his attention to the financial world, spending five years as a trader.
Today, as president of Island he is more likely to be using his flying parries and lunges to level the playing Weld between the momentarily protected but vulnerable traditional stock exchanges and the highly ambitious electronic communication networks (ECNs).
In terms of trading volume, Island is one of the largest ECNs, trading in excess of 120 million shares each day. Andresen states that he is in the business of matching buyers and sellers and the essence of success is creating a liquid market. Functioning as an auction market, Island currently trades mainly Nasdaq securities and, like other ECNs, Island is waiting impatiently to cut a swathe through the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The logical next step for ECNs is to electronically trade NYSE securities and take on the NYSE head to head by becoming virtual stock exchanges.