I have always felt that equity market making was a speed game for HFTs. But recently I talked to someone on the buy side, who made a claim to the contrary. He argued that with the right market making model/strategy, you can generate good returns without having the speed advantage that HFTs have. He claims to be using a vendor product to make markets in equity.
I somehow find this hard to believe but I might be wrong. Any views on this? If this person is correct, are there any interesting research papers that would support this claim ?
edit: In addition, if speed is essential, what is the minimum latency needed to be effective at market making ?