Vintage Trading Post finds new home at Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business


One of the original horseshoe trading posts from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), once a fixture among the marble columns of the trading floor, now stands in the lobby of Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business. The vintage trading posts were removed in 1980 and donated to museums and universities, including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., Stanford University – and now Fairfield University.

The historic brass and oak trading post is the gift of Christopher Quick, an alumnus and trustee of Fairfield University. The gift, valued at $200,000, is helping to mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of a School of Business at Fairfield.

At one time, the trading posts functioned as the epicenter of all business transactions at the NYSE. Considered a historic and vital part of the United States financial past, the one at Fairfield will now serve as a teaching tool to business students about the days when stock transactions were conducted not electronically as they are today.

Mr. Quick, vice chairman of Global Wealth and Investment Management of Bank of America, has been a generous supporter of Fairfield, from which he earned a bachelor's degree in finance in 1979. "I thought it was a unique piece of history. Much happened on that trading post in the 120 years it was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. A lot of capital was raised for many of the great industries in this country."

Mr. Quick began working on the floor of the NYSE just as the trading posts were being retired and replaced by electronic terminals. Still, he had an opportunity to experience the excitement of watching specialized brokers stand behind these posts and act as auctioneers to stock buyers and sellers, marking each transaction on paper.

When one of the antique trading posts became available, he purchased it to donate to the Dolan School. The 7-foot-tall post was previously preserved at the NYSE Luncheon Club.

Norm Solomon, Ph. D., dean of the Dolan School, said the trading post will serve as a history lesson of the New York Stock Exchange's past. "When this trading post was in operation, trading was conducted with paper and pencils, a contrast to how it is done largely electronically today. It will serve as a teaching tool as it speaks to how these changes have made the markets more global."

As the Dolan School receives this piece of history, the NYSE is on a new wave of modernization. Last fall, it replaced its electronic trading posts with much quieter computer stations to better compete with other electronic markets, including NASDAQ.

The NYSE's ambitious redesign of the floor has made use of the most advanced technology available. According to the NYSE, the re-engineering of the trading floor has included the addition of handheld terminals, fiber optics, cellular communications and the first large-scale application of high-definition flat-screen technology aimed to speed market information and strengthen traders' managing of orders.

Today, approximately three billion transactions happen each day and that number is expected to rise. With the recently installed trading system, the average time it takes to complete a trade has been trimmed to less than three-tenths of a second, which is changing the experience of trading on the NYSE floor and the role of the people who work there. Dolan students explore electronic trading firsthand in the high-tech Business Education Simulation & Trading (BEST) Classroom, a simulated trading floor, located just down the hall from the post.

Mr. Quick has served as chair of the Fairfield Awards Dinner, the university's largest fundraising event for multicultural scholarships. He is also a former member of the New York Stock Exchange Board of Directors.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on September 14, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 40