ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – High Frequency versus Low Frequency!

The ALS Association is an American nonprofit organization that raises money for research and patient services, promotes awareness about and advocates in state and federal government on issues related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The disease is debilitating and horrific. Typically, the ALS Association receives about $2.5 million/year in donations – that is until 2014, when the Ice Bucket Challenge social media campaign went viral. Through this past Friday the campaign is responsible for bringing in just over $60 million to  This is simply amazing and wondrous, not only for the parabolic leap in donations , but also because the campaign really has raised awareness of ALS globally in a way I have never seen any other charity do, including ones I have worked with intimately. Folks are sharing videos of ice bucket baths, donating, and sharing  cross generational smiles; the world has become a little bit smaller and more connected as a result of this campaign.

Every parent at Themis has watched their children take the Ice Bucket Challenge, although none of us had participated ourselves.  That changed this past Friday, when  Remco Lenterman (chairman of IMC Financial and head of  the European FIA Proprietary Traders Group) nominated me to take the challenge on a video posted to Twitter. See it here:

Remco and I joust quite often on Twitter and through email. Our debates are  friendly, sarcastic, and honest; I think I speak for both of us when I state that we are  always  looking forward to our next one! We may not always agree, but we certainly do respect each other. Remco “reached across the aisle” to nominate me; it was a classy move on his part.

Here is my ALS video:

I chose to continue the “reach across the aisle” theme that Remco embraced, and chose to nominate the IEX guys, T. Rowe’s Clive Williams, and Virtu Financial CEO, Doug Cifu. I figured, why not have brokers, stock exchanges, asset managers, and HFTs all represented?

Here is Clive Williams’s video:

Here are the guys at IEX doing their ALS video, in loving memory of John Schwall’s mother, Marilyn:

Post by I Am An Investor.

Virtu’s Doug Cifu was vacationing in Italy with his family, and yet still found the time to accept the challenge, and make his own video. See it here:

And… in the same “reach across the aisle” theme, Doug invited Flash Boys author, Michael Lewis to take the same challenge!

And Michael Lewis, also vacationing in Italy with his family, obliged… Here is Michael Lewis’s video:

A few quick points…

First, Remco has a lot of money; I think Steve Spielberg produced his video.

Second, I still can’t understand a word Clive says. All pops and fizzes here baby…

Third, in Clive’s video you can hear Andy Brooks crying and whining in the background throughout the production. Also, perhaps you recognize the gentleman seated center; he is Baltimore Ravens NT Haloti Ngata!

Fourth, Doug’s video was the quickest. Given Virtu’s success globally that should surprise exactly nobody!

Finally, Michael Lewis’s son enjoyed dousing his dad just way, way, way too much!

I salute Remco, Clive, the IEX crew, Doug, and Michael for their tremendous achievements  at work and home, and also for their great sportsmanship and good nature. These videos were fun for all of us to do, as well as watch, and we all came together for a great cause. Please have fun with your families during this last week of  unofficial summer (in the US), and if you have not had a bucket of ice water poured over you yet, fret not; you can still donate to the ALS Association by just clicking below!

Donate to ALS Here!