Dean Curnutt plans to make Thursday, November 8—three days before Veterans Day in the U.S.-- a charitable trading day for those who have returned from Iraq or Afghanistan and had trouble readjusting to civilian life.
The founder and CEO of Macro Risk Advisors, a New York-based equity derivatives strategy and trading firm that serves hedge funds and other institutional investors, says MRA will donate all of the net commissions it earns on Thursday from executing trades on options, stocks and ETFs to the Jericho Project, a non-profit that provides housing, substance abuse counseling and vocational training for homeless people in New York City.
Proceeds will go the Jericho Project's Veterans Initiative. Goldman Sachs has agreed to waive all clearing fees for transactions with MRA.
“Many veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress, or substance abuse,” says Curnutt, who has been an active supporter of the organization for 10 years and serves on the board of directors. “Many are separated from their families. Reincorporating into society has been really difficult, given their battle scars and the tough economy.”
In 2010 the organization opened the doors to an apartment building in the Bronx exclusively for homeless veterans, and it will open a second building on Thursday.
“Charity trading days are nothing new on Wall Street, but we’ve been talking about doing this since the inception of Macro Risk Advisors in 2009,” says Curnutt. “It’s exciting for us as a team. I think, also, that there’s some negativity in the space of finance, and efforts like this go a long way toward undoing that.”
The Jericho Project says that housing veterans in its 300-to-350-square foot apartments costs $13,000 a year per unit, compared with $25,000 for a cot in a New York City shelter, $36,000 for a room in a family shelter and $72,000 for a City jail cell.
UPDATE: Macro Risk Advisors raised $263,141 through stock and option commissions on November 8. The company contributed an additional $50,000 for a total of $313,141.