|Headquarters||Headquarters in Amsterdam. Offices located in Chicago and Sydney.|
|Key People||CEO Johann Kaemingk|
Optiver was founded in 1986 as a market maker in equity options on the European Options Exchange (now Euronext) in Amsterdam. The business includes Optiver Holding BV, the global proprietary trading fund headquartered in the Netherlands, and two subsidiaries – Optiver US, LLC (Optiver), a Chicago-based corporation, and Optiver VOF, a Dutch company.
Products traded by the firm include equity options and underlying shares in leading companies, equity-index derivatives, baskets of shares, government bonds, cash and derivatives; commodities; foreign exchange in spot and derivative markets; convertible notes; customized products or market request for over-the-counter (OTC) options; sector-index derivatives; derivatives on pan-European indices; and exchange-traded funds (ETF).
- London Stock Exchange
- UK Options Exchange
- Australian Stock Exchange
- Australian Options Exchange
- Pan-European Stock Exchange
- American Stock Exchange
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said at a press conference in July of 2008 that it had filed a complaint against Optiver, saying Optiver tried to "bully the market" by buying large volumes of futures contracts to influence prices. The CFTC said the alleged scheme resulted in a $1 million profit.
Specifically, the CFTC alleged that Optiver, along with two subsidiaries and three employees, tried on 19 separate instances in 2007 to manipulate energy futures markets, specifically New York Mercantile Exchange light sweet crude oil, New York Harbor heating oil and New York Harbor gasoline markets. At least five of those attempts were successful, "causing artificial prices," the CFTC said.
The manipulative scheme described by the CFTC in its complaint is commonly known as “banging” or “marking”’ the close. “Banging the close” refers to the practice of acquiring a substantial position leading up to the closing period, followed by offsetting the position before the end of the close of trading for the purpose of attempting to manipulate prices.
In the civil complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the CFTC named Optiver, its Amsterdam and Chicago branches, and traders Randal Meijer, Bastiaan Van Kempen and Christopher Dowson as defendants.
Optiver has denied the allegations.
The CFTC began a nationwide investigation into possible oil market manipulation in December of 2007.
- CFTC Complaint against OPTIVER US, LLC, OPTIVER HOLDING BV, OPTIVER VOF, CHRISTOPHER DOWSON, BASTIAAN V AN KEMPEN, AND RANDAL MEIJER
- Chart with CFTC Press Release
- Johann Kaemingk, CEO
- ↑ Membership. Futures Industry Association.
- ↑ Core Business. Optiver.
- ↑ Traders accused of manipulating oil prices. Globeinvestor.com.
- ↑ FINANCE: U.S. Accuses Trading Firm of Manipulating Oil Market. IPSNews.
- ↑ Optiver Holding Allegedly Manipulated Energy Market (Update2). Bloomberg.com.
- ↑ CFTC Charges Optiver Holding BV, Two Subsidiaries, and High-Ranking Employees with Manipulation of NYMEX Crude Oil, Heating Oil, and Gasoline Futures Contracts. CFTC.
- ↑ U.S. Claims Optiver Influenced Oil Prices. Chicago Tribune.
- ↑ Investigation Widens Into Unusual Oil Price Rise. The New York Times.
- ↑ CFTC Charges Optiver with Oil-Market Manipulation. Reuters.