Thursday 29 September 2016

Hollywood eyes film about the Dundrum man who helped expose flash traders

Published 26/04/2015 | 02:30

As one trader explained, until Ryan flipped the table on some of the most powerful people in Wall Street, the vast majority of traders on the floor applauding at the closing bell were 'nothing but clapping seals'
As one trader explained, until Ryan flipped the table on some of the most powerful people in Wall Street, the vast majority of traders on the floor applauding at the closing bell were 'nothing but clapping seals'
Ronan Ryan - from Dundrum, Co Dublin - was part of a team of whizz-kids who revealed how technologically-savvy investors were secretly getting rich off the back of everyday traders - by using a faster underground cable network to buy and sell stock before their competitors had the chance

An Irishman who helped to expose the biggest US banking scandal since Bernie Madoff is about to hit the big screen after Sony Pictures bought the rights to his story.

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Ronan Ryan - from Dundrum, Co Dublin - was part of a team of whizz-kids who revealed how technologically-savvy investors were secretly getting rich off the back of everyday traders - by using a faster underground cable network to buy and sell stock before their competitors had the chance.

As one trader explained, until Ryan flipped the table on some of the most powerful people in Wall Street, the vast majority of traders on the floor applauding at the closing bell were "nothing but clapping seals".

The story has since been turned into a best-selling book called Flash Boys and now author Michael Lewis is teaming up with producer Scott Rudin, who he worked with previously on the smash hit Moneyball - with Colin Farrell tipped to play the Dubliner.

Described as the 'anti-Wolf of Wall Street', it tells how Ryan was part of a group of 'flash boys' who used digital high frequency trades to get an edge on the market. However he became disgusted with what he saw as a rigged system designed to help the rich get richer.

Rather than play the game, he revealed the scam - then walked, taking with them him the skills and expertise to build a new fairer, more accessible exchange - the IEX.

Ryan told the Sunday Independent how he first flew home to ask his father Eamon, a former IDA executive, for advice on whether he should turn his back on one of one of the top jobs on Wall Street - where he raked in almost a million dollars a year.

"I respect the hell out of my dad. He has always given me good advice, so I wanted to tell him all the pieces of the puzzle and then he could tell me what to do."

His father told him to leave the secure job, which he did - and now IEX is estimated to be worth about €320m.

"I think what we are doing now is noble and if I am making a lot of money doing the noble thing then that's what makes me happy," he says.

Speaking about the success of IEX he said: "It's like anything that's worth a lot of money on paper - you aren't worth anything until somebody wants to actually give you money for that paper.

"But whatever happens, my family will be comfortable, I have taken care of my kids' college education - and that's all that matters," he told the Sunday Independent.

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