04.03.2020
By John D'Antona

STA Chair Halverson on 2020 Goals Amid COVID-19

The National Security Traders Association has a new Chairman.

And he’s located deep in the heart of Texas.

Well, maybe Dallas isn’t that deep but Halverson’s pedigree as the new STA Chairman is.

He has spent his entire career with Capital Institutional Services, Inc. (CAPIS), a Dallas, Texas domiciled broker-dealer. Halverson began in 1999, starting as an Account Executive in Institutional Sales. Fast forward to now, while his current title is different, currently Senior VP, Halverson’s day-to-day role hasn’t changed much in the past 20 plus years.

Chris Halverson, STA

“I’ve always been involved in Sales and Trading.  Put simply, my job is to be a trusted resource for institutional asset managers, pension funds, and consultants,’ Halverson told Traders Magazine in an exclusive interview. “CAPIS is a relatively small firm (roughly 75 employees) so we wear a lot of hats. We do not have the same name recognition, or marketing budget, of some of the larger firms.  CAPIS relies heavily on Sales and Trading to spread the word, develop strong relationships, and highlight areas where we’re a good fit.  It’s truly a team effort.”

His introduction to financial services began in 1995, the summer of his junior year in college.  With help from a next-door neighbor, Halverson received an internship on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, before electronic trading even started. To hear hi tell it, “It was a scene straight out of Trading Places.” Brokers screaming at each other to get orders executed, while runners like Halverson, tried to side step their clerks to get information and fills back to clients.

“It was chaotic.  And I loved it,” he said.

To his surprise, Halverson’s boss called him shortly before graduation and asked him to move to Chicago to work at the Chicago Board of Trade. In 1999, at a friend’s wedding, he learned about an opportunity at a small firm in Dallas, then called CIS – which would become CAPIS. The rest s history.

From Dallas to DC

Halverson has experience with the STA dating back to the beginning of his Wall Street career, joining the Dallas STA (DSTA) as a member back in 1999 and has been active ever since. He joined the Board of Directors of DSTA in 2008 and served as its President in 2014. This long-run experience has enabled him to see things from a variety of perspectives and develop a greater appreciation for the roles and responsibilities throughout the trading ecosystem.

“Back in 1999, I didn’t give the “value proposition” of STA membership much thought. I just liked the people,” Halverson said candidly. “It was a great community of professionals and we all enjoyed each other’s company. Plus, at $100/year, membership was a bargain.”

Now Halverson looks to capitalize on his experiences both at CAPIS and DSTA to the broad trading stage.  He told Traders Magazine that last December, the STA Board set some strategic goals for 2020 which he shared.

Jim Toes, STA

“Believe me, it’s a long list of meaningful projects,” he began. “As a trade organization, STA has always focused on Education and Philanthropy.  We continue to support our affiliates and expand on important initiatives like Women-in-Finance (WIF), Student-in-Finance (SIF), and STAR (STA’s Job Re-Entry) program, geared toward helping those who have been displaced.  We’ve always stressed the importance of personal relationships and the success of our committees – Market Structure, Asset Management, Listed Options, Retail Advisory, ETP’s – depends on that.”

Jim Toes, Chief executive officer and President of STA National, said that Halverson was a good fit for the STA Chairmanship.

“As a past affiliate president who maintains close ties with Dallas, Chris not only has a deep understanding of what the affiliates are facing, but a strong desire to help,” Toes told Traders Magazine.”

Halverson said that while he’s only three months into his tenure, 2020 has presented the market  with some extraordinary challenges. Halverson explained the COVID-19 pandemic has caused STA to shift its near-term priorities.

“Supporting our members along with the entire financial services industry is by far STA’s #1 priority,” Halverson said. “We’ve asked our regulators for help easing the stress on firm resources and have been rewarded for those efforts. Likewise, we know there are so many people that need help right now. There are more important things to do than worry about the usual routine.  As a true “grass roots” organization, STA is in a unique position to help. The philanthropic efforts of our local affiliates have never been more important to those in need.”

The STA is the leading equities market industry organization comprised of 24 Affiliates in the U.S. and Canada. Its members represent individuals employed in the financial services industry across varying business models.

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