William J. Bott III, Barclays Specialist at NYSE, Dies at 33

William J. Bott III, Barclays Specialist at the NYSE
William J. Bott III works at the New York Stock Exchange on May 10, 2010. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

William J. Bott III, a specialist on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for Barclays Plc, collapsed and died July 31 after playing basketball. He was 33.

Bott, a resident of Hoboken, New Jersey, dropped to the sidewalk while leaving a gym in lower Manhattan following three games of basketball after the workday, his uncle, Robert Bott, said yesterday. He was pronounced dead at New York Downtown Hospital. A medical examination is planned to determine the cause.

“Any sport was his kind of a sport,” Robert Bott said of his nephew, who was known as Bill and favored the New York Giants and New York Mets. “He loved playing sports, was an active sports fan all the way around the horn.”

As a floor specialist, the meeting point for buyers and sellers in certain stocks, Bott chose a particularly vigorous field of trading.

“You have to work very, very well under pressure, and you have to work with many different types of personalities,” his uncle said. “He had the ability to do all of that, and to work intelligently under pressure.”

Bott was in charge of day-to-day operations of Barclays’ specialist business, which is known as DMM, for designated market making.

“Barclays is saddened by the loss of a highly respected colleague and close friend,” Mark Lane, a spokesman for Barclays, said yesterday in an e-mail. “Bill was a longstanding member of our team, and of the New York Stock Exchange community. His strong leadership, bright personality and enthusiasm will be greatly missed.”

Celebrity Host

News photographs captured Bott hosting the singer Usher on the NYSE floor on Aug. 1, 2011, during festivities celebrating the 30th anniversary of cable music channel MTV. Usher rang the opening bell that morning. Bott’s uncle said celebrity visits were part of the job.

“He met numerous celebrities, spent time with them and showed them how the stock exchange works,” he said.

Bott was freshly graduated from the State University of New York at Albany when he landed his first position on Wall Street, at LaBranche & Co., in 2001. He started on the job one week after the Sept. 11 terror attacks but never had second thoughts about working in lower Manhattan, said his uncle, a former chief operating officer at Quick & Reilly Inc. who helped Bott land the job. Robert Bott is now executive director of JPMorgan Clearing Corp., a unit of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York.

Bott worked until 2007 at LaBranche, which was acquired by Cowen Group Inc. for $156 million in stock last year. In 2007 he joined Dutch stockbroker Van der Moolen Holding NV, which transferred its NYSE specialist unit to Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. at the end of that year. Barclays bought Lehman’s brokerage in 2008.

William Joseph Bott III was born on March 9, 1979, on New York’s Long Island, where he graduated from Centereach High School. Survivors include his father, William Jr.; his mother, Judith D’Arrigo; a sister, Jennifer Scheid, and two brothers, Thomas and James.

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