Profile: Joseph Saluzzi and Sal Arnuk

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The rising influence of high-frequency trading and the surging importance of market structure issues has made unlikely stars out of Joseph Saluzzi and Sal Arnuk, founders of tiny Themis Trading.

It would be easy to paint them as underdogs fighting the titans of Wall Street. Indeed, a recent profile in their local paper, the Newark Star-Ledger, started out noting that, "In a small office off Main Street in Chatham, nestled between the boutique bridal shop and a branch of the School of Rock, sit two of the biggest thorns in the side of Wall Street's new norm."

While they are happy with their niche as a small agency brokers, they have also emerged as a big critic of our current market structure, which they claim has disadvantaged traditional buy-side players as well as retail investors. Reflecting the rising influence of this due, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) invited Saluzzi to join a subcommittee that would help the agency grapple with high-frequency and algorithmic trading.

The duo recently penned a book presenting their views on modern market structure, which I hope to review at a later date. All in all, you have to be thankful for people willing to blog and publish controversial views on technical issues. When issues are complex, technical and obscure, it's easy for the public to simply not care. But when papers like the New York Times put these issues on front page, it speaks to the importance of the issue at the lay level.

It may not be long before retail investors hail Saluzzi and Arnuk as heroes, champions of the little guys. They will not likely be comfortable in the spotlight, but you have to admire their willingness to take on the powers, even if you do not agree with them. 

 For more:
- here's the profile

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