Morris was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and attended Pike High School. After completing a degree in Economics at the University of Chicago in 1986, he entered a rapidly changing futures industry as the NYSE and NASDAQ began trading equity options contracts. As an associate for GNP commodities, Morris developed strategies for risk hedging and management and began his lifelong research into algorithmic trading.
After joining a team of mathematicians and scientists working under Blair Hull at Hull Trading Company, he obtained an M.B.A from the University of Chicago, where he specialized in both finance and statistics. During his tenure with Hull Trading, Morris engineered electronic option pricing systems and developed option pricing and volatility models, eventually becoming a Partner and the Director of Financial Engineering.
After becoming one of the world's premier market-making firms, Hull Trading Company was acquired by Goldman Sachs in 1999 for $531 million. Morris joined Goldman Sachs, where he managed the equity trading financial engineering groups and continued his work on trading systems and statistical modeling. After two years, he became a Managing Director and led the firm's algorithmic trading division at the Automated Execution Strategies desk.
In 2006, Morris became CEO of the Boston Options Exchange Group, an automated equity options stock exchange. As CEO, Morris continued his engineering work, developing execution speed and messaging capacity for hedge funds and algorithmic traders. He also worked to extend equal opportunities to all market members, openly stating that:
"Our goal is to create a level playing field for all participants. Unfortunately, many of our competitors still see fit to grant certain aspects of their customer base special privileges. We just don't see why anyone should receive priority or special privileges in this day and age."
Morris led the implementation of the Sola Trading platform and PIP price improvement algorithm. He departed in 2008 after the TMX majority ownership acquisition.
Morris is the founder of Morris Consulting, LLC, which develops quantitative models and automated trading strategies, and advises large trading firms on regulatory relations, risk management, and recruiting. He has spoken at numerous educational and industry events and has lectured at the Chicago Board Options Exchange Risk Management Conference, the Futures Industry Association, and the Security Traders Association of Chicago.
In 2002, he lectured on volume-price ratios and optimal execution at the Computational Finance program at Carnegie Mellon, and he is currently a guest lecturer for the University of Chicago Careers in Business program. Morris is also the author of Polished, a careers resource book that teaches resume, cover letter, and interview skills to college students and other first-time job seekers.