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All Of This Bad-Mouthing Of High-Frequency Trading Coming At Really Bad Time For One High-Frequency Trading Firm

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Michael Lewis thinks high-frequency traders are bad guys. But he also thinks that Brad Katsuyama is a good guy. And Brad Katsuyama thinks that, as bad guys go, Virtu Financial—which just happens to be planning an IPO—is pretty good. Which adds up to something, we’re sure, that Virtu would be happy to let you know about during its whistle-stop/barnstorming “we’re the best you’ve got” tour.

With its business model under fire and an initial public offering on the horizon, high-speed trading firm Virtu Financial Inc. has a message for investors: We're the good guys.

New York-based Virtu, which operates in around 200 markets world-wide, is expected to launch a promotional tour for its offering by early next week to tout its record and defend its business, according to people familiar with the matter….

At the meetings with prospective investors, Virtu plans to emphasize that it provides increased liquidity to the market and lowers overall trading costs, according to a person familiar with its plans.

Virtu executives also intend to highlight their involvement with IEX Group Inc., an alternative trading venue that has marketed itself as a haven for large investors worried about being taken advantage of by lightning-fast trading firms….

IEX is featured in Mr. Lewis's book as an example of a potential safeguard against the abuses by some firms. Virtu is a customer of IEX.

Brad Katsuyama, founder of IEX, said in an interview that Virtu was one of the "good high-frequency traders" based on its behavior on his platform.

"They are one of the few HFT firms trading on IEX and I think that says a lot about them and a lot about some of their competitors," he said.

High-Speed Trading Firm Tries Charm Offensive [WSJ]