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Commodities Expert Witnesses

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Norman Katz
Managing Partner
18881 Von Karman, Suite 1175
Irvine CA 92612
USA
phone: 949-263-8700
fax: 949-263-0770
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MCS Associates is a nationally recognized consulting group that has provided financial, operations and regulatory/compliance consulting services nationwide to financial institutions, insurance companies and regulatory agencies as well as real estate and financial services organizations for over 40 years.

Expert Witness and Litigation Consulting are a primary focus of our services. We undertake expert witness assignments throughout the United States and our clients include several hundred leading law firms around the country, working on behalf of both plaintiff and defendant financial institutions, borrowers, depositors, investors, developers, insurance companies and their insured, securities/insurance/real estate brokers/agents, regulators and government agencies, and individuals.

Together with MCS Associates’ specialized resources in banking, financial services and real estate, we also draw on key strategic alliances in insurance, economics, academia and the securities industry to meet a wide range of expert witness needs. Our litigation experts include experienced bankers, lenders, consultants, regulators, managers, brokers & agents in insurance, real estate, and securities; insurance claims and underwriting managers; economists, accountants, appraisers, real estate analysts, and academics.

Areas of Expertise Include:
  • Banking Operations/Administration
  • Check Fraud
  • Lending Policies, Custom and Practice
  • Loan Underwriting & Credit Administration
  • Loan Securitizations & Servicing
  • Bankruptcy, Foreclosures and Workouts
  • Trust & Fiduciary Issues / Operations
  • Securities Brokerage & Investments
  • Valuations & Damages Analysis
  • Forensic Accounting
  • Employment / Compensation
  • Real Estate Brokerage & Management
  • Title Insurance & Escrow
  • Real Estate Appraisal & Transactions
  • Insurance Industry Custom & Practice
  • Insurance Coverages / Claims Handling
  • Insurance Bad Faith
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    Bob Lawson, CFE®, AIF®, RFC®, LUTCF®
    Securities & Insurance Expert Witness | FINRA Arbitrator
    3800 American Boulevard West
    Suite 1110
    Bloomington MN 55431-4460
    USA
    phone: 800-741-0704
    fax: 952-835-1504
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    Securities ExpertCertified Fraud ExaminerMr. Bob Lawson, AIF®, CFE®, RFC®, LUTCF, is a Securities & Insurance Expert Witness retained for FINRA arbitration, mediation, and federal/civil court litigation. Mr. Lawson possesses over 30 years of experience within the securities and insurance industries. In 1988, Mr. Lawson founded Barrington Capital Management, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisory firm and Insurance Agency, and currently serves as the President and Chief Compliance Officer.

    AIF LogoIn addition, Mr. Lawson presides as a FINRA & NFA Dispute Resolution Arbitrator for disputes concerning public and private investors, financial services professionals, broker-dealers, and dually-registered investment advisers. Claims often arise regarding breach of fiduciary duties, employment disputes, conflicts of interest, churning, unsuitable investments, and failure to supervise, among others. Mr. Lawson also serves as a public mediator and is a Qualified Neutral under Minnesota Rule 114 of Standard Practice in Mediation and Arbitration.

    His breadth of experience includes managing and supervising FINRA broker-dealer branch offices as a Registered Securities Principal, Options Principal, and Chief Compliance Officer. Mr. Lawson also has considerable experience with insurance products including variable annuities, fixed and indexed annuities, long term care, and life insurance. Mr. Lawson possesses numerous accolades and is certified as an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE®), Registered Financial Consultant (RFC®), and a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF®).

    Retaining Mr. Lawson as an Expert Witness and Litigation Consultant will clarify and address relevant issues pertaining to your case from an insider's point of view. Upon a thorough examination and analysis of the case material, Mr. Lawson’s conclusions and opinions are impartial, objective, and predicated upon years of industry expertise and experience. Expert testimony and reports are supported by thorough and detailed research through case-specific analysis.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • FINRA & SEC Regulations
    • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
    • Promissory Notes
    • Securities Fraud Investigations
    • Ponzi Schemes
    • Options, Stocks & Bonds
    • Due Diligence
    • FINRA Arbitration
    • Professional Malpractice
    • Economic Damages & Losses
    • Employment Discrimination & Termination
    Services:
    • Litigation Consulting
    • Unbiased Case Analysis
    • Discovery Review & Recommendations
    • Portfolio Risk Reports
    • Securities Fraud Investigation
    • Damage Calculations
    • Expert Testimony
    View Bob Lawson's Consulting Profile.
    7/11/2017 · Securities
    In the securities brokerage industry, "selling-away" refers to the prohibited practice of an Associated Person effecting or soliciting the sale of securities or investment products not held or approved with whom the broker is affiliated without prior written consent. FINRA regulators have seen a steady flow of selling-away cases over the years involving registered representatives who are being targeted by issuers, promoters and marketing agents to sell their nontraditional investment products to their retail customers. In many instances, promoters of these products are marketing them as non-securities products that do not have to be sold through a broker-dealer by a registered person. In a significant number of cases, associated persons have sold these investments to their customers away from the broker-dealer and without firm approval as required by FINRA Rule 3270. Selling-away often occurs in an independent branch or a satellite office, where Associated Persons are removed from the day-to-day oversight and supervision of their brokerage firm's compliance department.

    9/23/2015 · Finance
    I receive phone calls throughout the year from attorneys who have taken on their first FINRA case and they frequently are unaware how the FINRA Dispute Resolution process differs from other venues. I thought it would be helpful to provide a quick overview for new participants and a refresher for those more experienced securities attorneys on how the FINRA Arbitration and Mediation process works.

    8/26/2015 · Finance
    In FINRA-related cases many attorneys see discovery requests objected to by opposing counsel. Typically, opposing counsel objects to discovery requests citing that items requested are either "overly broad, vague, or ambiguous", or "impermissible per FINRA's Code of Arbitration Procedure". However, despite opposing counsel's reasoning, many objections to discovery requests are irrelevant and do not hold up in regard to FINRA's Code of Arbitration Procedure. Attorneys should not be intimidated or discouraged by these objections, but rather should understand that FINRA's guidelines concerning arbitration allow for most applicable and reasonably obtainable discovery information to be delivered.

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    John T. Foster
    President & CEO
    NJ USA
    phone: 609-707-1071
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    John T. Foster calls upon his deep and broad senior level experience, gained through a 35 year career in the broker-dealer industry, to provide uniquely relevant securities expert witness services. Uncommon in the “expert” field, Mr. Foster continues today to be actively engaged in the field as a specialized consultant for broker-dealer firms. He currently serves as the President and CEO of Bedford & Main Financial Consulting.

    Mr. Foster worked for many years in a senior management role for a large, multi-national self-clearing firm. He also served as the President and CEO of an independent broker-dealer where he was responsible for ensuring compliance and regulatory requirements were properly implemented to support a retail-based business. He is very familiar with financial services expert witness issues related to fundamental FINRA compliance regulations such as: suitability, supervision, senior issues, churning, complex products and written supervisory procedures (WSPs). He is also proficient in matters related to client and firm interactions with financial advisors, which frequently are subjects of FINRA arbitrations.

    Mr. Foster believes that in order to maintain ethical standards a high degree of selectivity is required when reviewing specific issues and determining his ability to provide a meaningful expert opinion. As such, he is happy to review a claim (“On my own time and expense of course!”) to determine if he has the proper background and agreement to support a case.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Senior Issues
    • Suitability
    • Supervision
    • Churning
    • Discount Web Brokers
    • Complex Products
    • SEC Direct Market Access (15c3-5)
  • Written Supervisory Procedures (WSPs)
  • Financial Advisor Supervision
  • FINRA Compliance
  • Private Security Transactions
  • Outside Business Activities
  • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist
  • Master Accounts and Sub-accounts
  • Licenses and Memberships:
    • FINRA Series 3, 7, 24, 27 and 63
    • Certified FINRA Dispute Resolution Arbitrator
    • Member of the Securities Experts Roundtable
    • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)
    View Bedford & Main's Consulting Profile.
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    Frank Carr
    Financial Services Consultant
    Norwalk CT 06854
    USA
    phone: 203-344-9531 (Office) 203-249-7244 (Cell)
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    Frank Carr Financial Services Expert PhotoFrank Carr has extensive background and experience as an Investment Industry Employment and Compensation Expert Witness, especially Investment Management Firms, Mutual Funds, Hedge Funds, Wealth Managers, and Broker Dealers.

    Mr. Carr is a former corporate banker, investment firm Chief Financial Officer and a 20 year veteran of executive search for the Investment Management industry. He has written articles for and has been frequently quoted by publications such as Bloomberg News, CNN Money, Fund Fire, Ignites, Absolute Return, Hedge Fund Alert, and Hedge Fund Manager Week. Prior to entering the executive search field, he was the Chief Financial Officer of a Connecticut-based hedge fund and Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA). Mr. Carr started his career in commercial bank lending, initially with Citigroup in their Wall Street Commodities division and later specialized in financing independent feature film producers, TV producers and television station owners on behalf of European American Bank in New York.

    Litigation Support - Frank Carr is an Investment Industry Employment and Compensation Expert Witness who has been retained by both plaintiffs and defendants for American Arbitration Association, JAMS and FINRA arbitration, mediation, and federal court litigation. Mr. Carr has over 30 years of experience in Financial Services, Investment Management, and Banking and his areas of coverage include Traditional and Alternative Investments – Equities, Fixed Income, Mutual Funds, Hedge Funds, Private Equity, and Managed Futures. Specialist in Wall Street Divorce.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Executive Compensation
    • Employment and Hiring Practices
    • Wrongful Dismissal
    • Lost Earnings
    • FINRA Arbitration
    • Employment Discrimination
    • Compensation Consulting
  • Institutional Asset Management
  • Mutual Funds
  • Hedge Funds
  • Private Equity
  • Wealth Management
  • Broker / Dealers
  • Retail Financial Advisory
  • Sales Process for Investment Products
  • Prior Expert Witness Assignments:
    • Represented a hedge fund portfolio manager as an expert rebuttal witness in a high profile hedge fund employment/compensation lawsuit. Prepared a rebuttal opinion letter submitted to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
    • Represented a $12 billion Texas-based SEC Registered Investment Adviser and leading global alternative credit manager in a JAMS arbitration regarding a terminated employee. Prepared a rebuttal expert witness report and provided live testimony at the JAMS arbitration hearing.
    • Represented a financial advisor in a FINRA arbitration against one of the top 5 U.S. wealth management firms. The scope of the opinion included projected career advancement, compensation analysis and calculation of lost earnings.
    • Represented a portfolio manager/ investment analyst in a wrongful termination action against one of the largest U.S. Broker Dealers with over $600 billion in assets. The scope of the opinion included projected career advancement and compensation analysis. Prepared an expert witness report and provided live testimony at the FINRA arbitration hearing.
    Education - Mr. Carr is a graduate of Williams College where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economy. He completed the Management Training Program at Citigroup in New York, including courses in accounting, finance and capital markets. He has previously held FINRA licenses, Series 3, 6 and 63 and has completed Level I of the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) program.
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    Daniel Reser
    President
    369-B Third Street, #543
    San Rafael CA 94901
    USA
    phone: 415-482-9513
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    Daniel Reser is a trusted Fiduciary and Registered Investment Advisor. Prior to his role at Fiduciary Services, Inc., he served as Vice President and Manager for Wilmington Trust based in Santa Monica, CA, also of Bank of America, and Security Pacific Bank. Mr. Reser also has a JD from Southern Methodist University. In 1989, he graduated from the UCLA John Anderson Graduate School of Management Executive Program.

    Mr. Reser is considered a highly effective and capable trust fiduciary due to his legal training, his extensive experience as a fiduciary for corporate reorganizations and retirement plans as well as his reputation for ethical business practices and pragmatic management style. He has been a corporate fiduciary for corporate securities and reorganization transactions as well as trustee and custodian of retirement plans for over 25 years. During his career, Mr. Reser has administered and managed a wide variety of Governmental, Corporate and Union Retirement Plans as plan trustee. His current role as principal of an investment advisory firm includes acting as Fiduciary for Company Stock in Retirement Plans including ESOPs.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Leveraged and Unleveraged ESOP Transactions
    • Acquisitions and Sales of Employer Stock by Company Retirement plans
    • Company Stock in Other Qualified Plans
    • ERISA Sec. 404 (c) protection for Employer Stock
    • Pass-through Voting and Tender Offer Decision Making
    • Management and Divestiture of Shares
    • Satisfying Independent Fiduciary Requirement for Meeting Prohibited Transaction Exemption in Connection with Settlement of Litigation Per P.T. Exemption 2003-39 of 12-31-03
    • Orphan Plans
    • Rabbi trusts
    View Consulting Profile.
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    Douglas E. Johnston, Jr.
    Managing Director
    100 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 940
    Santa Monica CA 90401
    USA
    phone: 310-917-1075
    fax: 310-393-9205
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    Douglas E. Johnston, Jr., is an expert witness in banking and corporate finance. He has 30 years experience across the US in senior management of leading Banking, Private Equity/Mergers and Acquisitions and Real Estate companies.

    Trained at a major AAA-rated East Coast bank, honored early in his career as a bank President, and confirmed by regulators in a Class 1 rated bank, Doug Johnston managed five full-service banking offices in Texas and California over 11 additional years, before expanding into mergers & acquisitions as EVP-Finance and Administration and a Founding Father of the largest private company in Los Angeles. He has due diligence, negotiation, documentation, and monitoring experience including as a lender, borrower, buyer, seller, manager and/or co-investor in hundreds of transactions including the service, technology, manufacturing, and real estate sectors across the US and also in Europe, with over $2 Billion in closed transactions. His over 3 decades in banking and finance management includes Bank Operations, Regulations, Credit Underwriting, Financial Statements, Commitments, Loan Agreements, Deeds, Guarantees, Purchase and Sale Agreements, Ventures, and Equity Partnerships, plus analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the parties. Doug is a published author on banking and finance topics since 2008, he is a past President of the Century City Rotary Club, and he is a frequent speaker to Advance Placement high school juniors in South Central Los Angeles under the Youth Business Alliance program.

    Litigation Support – Five Management, LLC and Doug Johnston provide complex business litigation support in Banking, Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity, Due Diligence and Lender Liability for counsel representing Plaintiff and Defense. Mr. Johnston has provided litigation support in breach, misrepresentation, fraud and other actions in complex Business, Family and Employment cases since 2010.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Banking & Lending
    • Policy & Regulations
    • Mergers & Acquisitions
    • Corporate Finance
    • Private Equity
    • Due Diligence
    • Operating Management
  • Leveraged Buyouts
  • Equity Syndications
  • International Business
  • Foreign Currencies
  • Hedging
  • Commodities
  • Marketing & Development
  • View Douglas Johnston's Consulting Profile.
    1/17/2017 · Real Estate
    Experts in the emerging field of data analytics now provide attorneys with powerful new tools to transform and evaluate 'data dumps' exchanged during legal discovery. While many national-scope firms have developed in-house data analytics skills, regional and local firms now also have full access to third party state-of-the-art processing algorithms and optical scanning software that convert paper images to analyzable data. Over the past five years, refinements in data analytics techniques and document review software have moved to the forefront of litigation support to dramatically change the landscape of discovery. To improve case outcomes, outside experts in data analytics look to: 1) get more out of the available case data, 2) reduce human error and risk, and 3) save 30-70% (or more) in costs and time. Several examples below illustrate the case for advanced analytics.

    2/26/2016 · Banking
    Negative interest rates are a confusing topic and they may be heading to the U.S. this year. Many Americans ask what they mean and why this is all happening. Since 2014, leading European central banks have initiated 'negative interest' policies as an economic stimulus measure by means of large government-issued or sovereign bond activities. Negative rates begin where major buyers of low-risk government bonds agree to accept a return less than their original investment when the bonds mature. Since Government bond rates are the bellwether for corporate bond rates, these once-improbable 'negative interest' bonds soon become a major influence in major bank bond portfolios. The Federal Reserve and U.S. banks are now looking at them.

    7/10/2015 · Banking
    While financial market observers in the US remain focused on the timing and magnitude of the Fed raising target interest rates over the months ahead, European bond markets have begun to experience just the opposite - the never-before-seen phenomenon of actual negative bond market interest rates. Since the Global Crisis of 2008, which saw both the Fed and foreign central bankers seeking both to calm markets and to encourage growth by reducing rates to the 'zero bound,' interest rates for bellwether German bonds and across Europe in late 2014 crossed into negative territory, and for the first time in world history.

    6/12/2015 · Finance
    As billionaire Warren Buffet once noted, "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." Interested buyers, investors and bankers looking at new initiatives with companies often share similar objectives in 'kicking the tires' to be sure a target company has properly documented its business activities. On the other side of the transaction, the subject company's Founder, Board of Directors, CEO, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Accounting and/or other departments can find themselves overwhelmed by the volume of documentation requests. Third parties can test the bounds of both courtesy and reasonableness before committing to and funding a new transaction.

    5/12/2015 · Finance
    The emergence of structured finance products over twenty-five years ago enabled major commercial banks and investment houses to develop higher volumes of real estate, credit cards, automobiles and other asset-based loans in new and often more profitable ways. Historically, lenders normally generated these types of loans as portfolio loans, where the bank kept and monitored these loans on its own balance sheet and at its own risk. But beginning in the late 1980's, banks began to investigate taking an intermediary or conduit role for certain types of loan portfolios. When generating loans which met the advance underwriting criteria of large investors, banks and loan originators recognized they could simultaneously generate large fees and also promptly move these 'tailored' loan portfolios off the bank's books, by pre-packaging them for investor third parties.

    4/14/2015 · Finance
    "When it happens to you, you'll know it's true." Old Proverb A financial expert witness experienced in the due diligence process and in complex business negotiations can help unlock the valuation issues at the core of many business disputes. Merger and acquisition-related lawsuits can become an exercise in piecing together both the timing and materiality of various communications by representatives from both parties. Analysis of the specific due diligence activities undertaken and the data exchanged can yield key answers. With a full understanding of the processes and communications developed in due diligence and underwriting, business disputes can be more readily resolved.

    3/12/2015 · Economics
    Several important economic factors appear to be moving unfavorably for the US at the moment, both domestically and abroad, and there are increasing indications that America may not be able to orchestrate a global resurgence on its own. Despite encouraging signs of domestic recovery, fundamental structural problems persist in the US economy. The National Debt now exceeds $18 Trillion, the Department of Agriculture confirms that well over 46 million Americans continue on food stamps, and key voices have stepped forward asking for a deeper look at several U.S. economic statistics. Last week long-time Gallup CEO Jim Clinton very boldly drew attention to the government's recent 5.6% unemployment numbers, questioning them as overly optimistic interpretations of data, and noting on CNBC that the percentage of Americans holding full-time jobs is now the lowest in 60 years.

    2/13/2015 · Finance
    With the Federal Reserve's wide-ranging efforts to address the ongoing Credit Crisis through unprecedented money-creation activities, we are now likely witnessing the final phases of the U.S. Dollar's 64-year reign as the primary global reserve currency. Few Americans understand the implications of this dramatically unfolding global sea-change.

    1/14/2015 · Finance
    The global monetary system which was laid out by the Allied nations at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944 is nearing its end, and daily we move closer to the threshold of a financial new world order. The United States, having created the most powerful economic system yet devised by man, and having earned global 'reserve currency status' for the US Dollar through America's unequalled military and economic power as the victor of two World Wars, is now nearing the unthinkable loss of the global financial dominance of the Dollar. Following the residential real estate 'Bubble' of 2002-2006, the sub-prime Credit Crisis of 2007, and the broader global financial meltdown which has followed, the U.S. has experienced dramatically declining levels of core lending & general economic activity.

    5/11/2015
    "In his most recent article about the never-before-in-history advent of negative interest rates in Europe and the U.S., Douglas E. Johnston, Jr., Founder and CEO of California-based Five Management, LLC advisors addresses some of the early implications of this startling new market frontier, which was not even envisioned by John Maynard Keynes, the founder of modern economic theory."
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    Gontran de Quillacq
    Securities Consultant / Quantitative Portfolio Manager
    FINRA Arbitration
    NY / NJ
    USA
    phone: 732-533-9066
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    Gontran de Quillacq has over 20 years of Securities experience specializing in Portfolio Management, Equity Derivatives Trading, Proprietary Trading and Investment Research. He has worked with top-tier banks and hedge funds in both London and New York.

    Background Experience - An institutional-level proprietary and derivatives trader, Mr. de Quillacq traded derivatives, from vanillas to exotics. As a portfolio manager, he researched and managed multiple investment strategies, notably initiating the distribution of investment strategies with derivatives, an activity now called 'portable alpha' and 'smart beta'. For five years, Mr. de Quillacq then ran due diligence on investments strategies and selected senior investment personnel for some of the world’s most famous and most demanding hedge funds and asset managers. In 2017, he co-founded a quantitative fund deploying the latest machine learning techniques in global long/short equities.

    Litigation Support - Mr. de Quillacq's investment experience and cross-sectional review of other professionals give him unique experience on what can be done, what should be done, what should not be done, and the grey areas in-between. During a personal case against HSBC, his legal team was so impressed by his wide and thorough knowledge in finance, his capacity to explain complicated ideas in simple terms, and his strong performance on the stand, that they strongly recommended he expand his litigation support services.

    Mr. de Quillacq's services are available to attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant and include written reports, deposition, arbitration, mediation, and trial testimony as needed. He is an IMS Elite Expert and a member of the Securities Expert Roundtable.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Investments and Trading: Securities and derivatives (stock options, swaps, exotics...), structured products, complex financial instruments, benchmarks manipulation (Libor, FX, indices), liquidity management, statistical arbitrage and algorithmic trading, portfolio construction and risks, management fees, broker dealers, hedge funds
    • Recruitment and Employment: Front-office personnel, portfolio managers, traders, quants, analysts, broker-dealers, compensation, due diligence, U5
    • Supported Practice Areas: Financial fraud & litigation, commodities & securities manipulation, white-collar crime, broker-dealers, hedge funds, investigations, enforcement, whistleblowing, ADR, FINRA arbitrations
    Education / Training:
    • HEC Paris, MBA Finance, 1995
    • US Berkeley, visiting scholar, differential algebra, 1993
    • Ecole Superieure d'Electricite, doctoral degree (DEA), 1993
    • Stanford Research Institute, international fellow, atomic physics, 1992
    • Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, MS theoretical physics, 1992
    • Ecole d'Application du Train, lieutenant, 1990
    • Lycee Faidherbe, classes preparatoires, 1989
    4/11/2018 · Securities
    It's a no-brainer; the financial industry has changed a lot over the last decades. There are multiple causes. Among the structural factors, one can mention the rise of technology, the decimalization and electronification of exchanges, the introduction of ECNs for equity, the increases in volume and speed of those exchanges. There were also significant regulatory changes (MiFID, Basel, Dodd-Frank...). Derivatives trading has changed a lot too. But what happened to the VIX on February 5th, could be a wake-up call to the industry and generate another wave of deep changes.