SEC’s former HFT expert joins Citadel

Gregg Berman, a Princeton-trained physicist and former hedge-fund manager, joined the SEC in 2009 and helped it acquire the data and analytical capabilities to measure the speed of the market to microseconds.

One of his first assignments was helping the agency reconstruct the causes of the 2010 flash crash, when more than $ 800 billion in equity market value was wiped out before prices rebounded.

While some of Berman’s critics during his time at the SEC found him too supportive of high-frequency trading, he was widely viewed as an analytical regulator who avoided sweeping judgments and demanded data to back any claims about problems in the markets. He didn’t accept the assumption that the market was too complex and insisted that investors – and not just exchanges or speed traders – were responsible for the growing reliance on technology.

He left the agency in 2015 to join consulting firm EY, where he worked with clients on Volcker Rule compliance and other matters.

Berman started in September as a director of research at Citadel, the hedge fund and electronic market-making firm founded by billionaire Ken Griffin. His work at Citadel’s giant market-making business will focus on market structure as well as the stability and quality of markets, according to his LinkedIn bio.

Write to Dave Michaels at dave.michaels@wsj.com

This story was originally published in The Wall Street Journal

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