Trading Technologies International

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Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT)
TT horizontal 2lines 4c logo225.jpg
Founded 1994
Headquarters Chicago
Key People Rick Lane, CEO
Employees 350+
Products Trading software
Twitter @Trading_Tech
Website tradingtechnologies.com
Releases Company News
Blog Trade Talk

Trading Technologies International, Inc. (TT) is an independent software vendor that develops high-performance trading software for professionals.[1] Customers include international banks, brokers, hedge funds, proprietary traders and other trading institutions.

The company is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in New York, Stamford, Houston, São Paulo, London, Geneva, Frankfurt, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney and Pune, India.

Products and Services

Trading Platforms

TT has two order entry platforms: X_TRADER, which was the company’s flagship platform for its first 20 years, and a software-as-a-service platform simply called "TT," introduced in March 2015. Both platforms connect traders with all the major global derivatives exchanges, incorporate single-click trade execution and high-speed connections and offer real-time fill and position details.

The TT platform offers the features of the X_TRADER platform and is faster and more scalable. Unique to the new platform is a hybrid-cloud architecture that utilizes co-located execution facilities for exchange connectivity and real-time market information, and a private cloud for storage of user configurations, workspaces, audit trail data and other non-latency-sensitive components.[2] The TT platform also provides its core service optimized for mobile devices and allows end users to strategically shift which FCM clears an order. [3]

Platform Tools

Both platforms offer tools for automated trading, charting & analytics, user setup and administration and APIs, as well as TT's patented MD Trader, a vertical market depth display that allows immediate interaction to market ebb and flow.

The TT platform features new APIs that provide normalized interfaces for interacting with all of the TT-connected exchanges, designed to allow customers to focus on building strategies and trading tools instead of dealing with exchange-specific nuances.

The TT platform is also available via the TT Mobile app, released for Android and iOS devices. TT Mobile sits on the same network infrastructure as the desktop application, which means all orders route through the same high-performance co-location facilities to deliver low-latency execution.

History

The Early Years

Trading Technologies was established in 1994 in Frankfurt, Germany and founded by Gary Kemp, who served as TT's first chief executive officer. Kemp stepped down from TT in August of 2002.[4] He was replaced by former Apple engineer Chris Derossi. After Derossi held the spot for only five months, Harris Brumfield took over the position.[5]

Brumfield, a former bond trader on the floor of the Chicago Board Of Trade, switched to trading on the screen in 1997, and helped pioneer electronic trading at TT first as a customer, then as its largest shareholder, and eventually as its CEO.

Under Brumfield's leadership, TT increased its exchange connections, expanded its international presence with new offices in North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia, added significant engineering resources and leadership to enhance its technological leadership, forged many new global customer partnerships and increased its visibility on a national and international scale.

In 2002, TT experienced record growth, and was the first futures ISV to record a profit and achieve sustainable financial success, according to Securities Week..[6]

The ability to grow revenues on a record basis while consistently increasing profitability earned TT a spot five times on the annual Deloitte & Touche Fast 50, which ranked the fastest growing Chicago area technology firms. TT was honored by the listing most recently in 2004 when TT posted 5-year growth of 318 percent. Deloitte has not published a new list since 2004.[7]

Growth & Patent Battles

TT's growth was spurred by during a period of massive expansion and adoption of electronic trading around the world. During from the early 2000s through 2011, the industry saw unprecedented growth in derivatives trading. Global volumes for futures trading in 2004 hit 8.9 billion contracts and continued soaring to 24.9 billion contracts in 2011, according to data from the Futures Industry Association. [8] [9]

It was also during that period that TT became a major player in patent litigation in the futures industry. TT was granted a patent on MD Trader in 2000 and soon after began to defend it.

Many other firms in the futures industry offered the same or similar elements as MD Trader, and were sued for patent infringement by TT. Its first major patent case was against eSpeed in 2004, a case which TT eventually won in court in 2007, and was awarded $3.5 million. (See the full list of patent cases below).

That suit and others outraged many, who were unaccustomed to patent infringement cases in the futures industry and claimed the patent suits were unfair and would raise the cost of trading. The issue became so contentious that Brumfield took out full-page ads in the Financial Times in December 2004, offering to drop all of TT's patent protections and allow full access to the industry, in return for a permanent fee of 2.5 cents per trade from the top four futures exchanges in the world. At the time, TT claimed that about 50 percent of the volume running through those large markets went through TT's software. The idea was largely rejected by critics and exchange leaders alike. [10] [11]

As such, TT pushed ahead with an aggressive strategy to defend its patents, filing suit against numerous firms and ISVs around the world. TT has won tens of millions of dollars in damages in settlements and court cases since then, and has not lost a patent case to date.

The Next Step

As Trading Technologies looked ahead, the firm sought to purchase new technology that would help the firm expand and introduce new functionality to its platform. In June 2010, it purchased TickIt Trading Systems for an undisclosed amount. TickIt's software allowed traders to build trading strategies quickly and easily without having to write their own source code.

The acquisition was a key move for TT in two ways. It ushered in new technology that TT could offer its customers, but it also brought TickIt's co-founders Rick Lane and Michael Unetich to TT. [12] That software was rebranded as TT's Algo Design Lab, or ADL, and serves as a software offering that TT customers can use to design new trading strategies.

Lane went on to serve as TT's executive vice president and chief technology officer and took on the role of CEO in February 2014. Brumfield stepped down, moving to a role as chairman. Under Lane's direction as CTO and CEO, the firm embarked on building a trading system in 2012 with brand new software architecture based on the HTML 5 mark up language, as well as cloud technology. [13] The new TT system, released in 2015 as a software-as-a-service model, was considered a technological shift in the way that ISVs would design and implement trading software in the financial industry. Not only was the architecture new, but TT customers would no longer be required to implement new software themselves. Instead, they could access TT's software using web-based tools. [14]

In September 2014, Trading Technologies and the European Energy Exchange announced a deal that would make the new TT platform the new default "front-end" trading screen for the exchange. The new TT software was offered to EEX members in early 2015, and was marked by the software firm as a major success for the new platform.[15] [16]

A similar deal was announced with Financial and Energy Exchange Group, or FEX in September 2015.[17]

Technology Patent Litigation

Trading Technologies has defended its technology in several patent infringement lawsuits. Below is a list of patent cases TT has been involved in that have stretched more than a decade, primarily dealing with the MD Trader patent. The software allows traders to see the best price for a futures or options contract in the market at a given moment, and also displays a range of prices. This allows market participants to see the so-called "depth of market." [18]

The first such lawsuit it brought was in August 2004 against eSpeed, alleging infringement of two patents relating to TT's MD Trader software developed the same year.[19] In October 2007, a jury ruled that eSpeed infringed on its patents and awarded TT $3.5 million in damages. [20] In 2005, FFastFill, a London-based derivatives application provider, agreed to a settle the case less than two weeks after TT filed a complaint against it in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for violating two patents on its MD Trader technology, embedded in the X-Trader software.[21]

Trading Technologies settled a case against Rolfe & Nolan Systems Inc. and Strategy Runner Ltd. a few days after it filed complaints against them in August 2005.[22]

Following the eSpeed case which concluded in October 2007, a group of other firms sued by TT continued on with their cases. The firms included GL Trade, Rosenthal Collins Group, CQG and Futurespath.[23]

In January of 2011, Cunningham Trading Systems LLC of Chicago agreed to pay $2 million in annual royalty fees and $4 million in damages.

Trading Technologies also won their case against the Chicago brokerage Rosenthal Collins Group in 2011.[24]

In March of 2015, a U.S. court awarded Trading Technologies $15.88 million after finding in favor of the firm in a long-running patent infringement battle with CQG. The Illinois District Court upheld TT's infringement claims against CQG on two of TT's patents, but ruled against TT in its claims that CQG had induced others to infringe on its patents and that CQG’s own infringement had been willful.[25]

Also in March 2015, a federal judge issued an order staying seven of TT's lawsuits against infringers while the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reviewed the patent claims. The seven lawsuits were first filed in 2010 and consolidated the following year in a case before Judge Virginia Kendall in U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois. The defendants in the case, who filed the motion seeking a stay, included TD Ameritrade, Interactive Brokers and TradeStation.[26]


Partnerships

On November 6, 2013, TT announced a partnership to integrate Ullink's order management system with TT's execution management system software and application programming interface.[27]

On March 4, 2014, Trading Technologies International and The NASDAQ OMX Group announced the release of TT’s connection to NASDAQ OMX eSpeed.[28] The connection to eSpeed gave all TT customers direct access to eSpeed’s liquidity pool to trade across U.S. Treasury securities and U.S. Treasury futures products. [29]

On May 6, 2014, Trading Technologies International and VeloxPro announced a partnership to integrate VeloxPro’s BookMap order-book visualization solution with TT's execution management system (EMS) software. [30]

On June 9, 2015, TT said it would connect to Nasdaq's German power and Nordic benchmark power market contracts, among other European operations, through a new platform with mobile capabilities. The launch would expand accessibility to Nasdaq's energy benchmarks in Europe.[31]

In March 2017 TT linked its new trading platform up to the Interxion data center, one of the main London data centers, which provides trading access to the London Metal Exchange, ICE Futures Europe, Euronext and the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange.[32]

TT Education Efforts

TT has invested in higher education since 2006, seeking to establish connections with universities around the world with the TT CampusConnect program. CampusConnect, a rebranding of TT's university program, was launched in May 2015, to offer free TT software to any college worldwide.

Led by TT's Leo Murphy, manager of TT CampusConnect, provides TT software to more than 100 universities in departments such as engineering, math and computer science and business schools around the world. The program also collaborates with educators on curriculum development, guest lectures as well as trading design and development events. [33] [34]


Awards

In 2004 the company was ranked as the top software company to work for in the Chicago area by Chicago Magazine and ranked the #3 best company to work for overall.[35]

In 2006, TT received the Lighthouse Award from the Illinois Information Technology Association (ITA) as the leading technology company in Illinois.[36]

In June 2008, TT was named "Technology Provider of the Year" by FOW Magazine. Also in 2008, Trading Technologies’ X_TRADER, designed to support trading of energy and agricultural derivatives, won the best commodities trading platform award from Buy-Side Technology. It was the second year in a row that TT's platform had been given the award.[37] TT also won this award in 2010 and 2011.

In June 2010, TT acquired TickIt Trading Systems. During the same month, TickIt was named one of the finalists in Red Herring's North America initiative to honor cutting-edge companies and technologies that are positioned to grow at an explosive rate. Prior to the acquisition, TickIt received the Illinois Technology Association’s 2010 Newcomer Award, which is given annually to the Illinois company that has the strongest potential to emerge from its start-up phase and distinguish itself in the technology marketplace. In September 2010, TickIt's Algo Design Lab (ADL) product was named a finalist in the Chicago Innovation Awards. In December 2010, ADL was named "Innovation of the Year" by FOW magazine. TickIt's is now integrated into TT's X_TRADER software and rebranded as the Algo Design Lab, or ADL

In November 2011, X_TRADER was named "Best Buy-Side Commodities Trading Platform" in the Buy-Side Technology Awards 2011 hosted by Waters Technology.

In September 2012, TT was named "Professional Traders ISV of the Year" in the FOW Awards for Asia. In November 2012, X_TRADER, was named "Best Commodities Trading Platform" at the Buy-Side Technology Awards. In December 2012, X_TRADER 7.11, which incorporates TT's ADL visual algo programming application, was named "Best New Product from a Technology Firm for Trading and Execution" at the FOW International Awards in London.

In January 2013, TT announced the launch of its MultiBroker ASP platform, which allowed traders to enter orders from a single X_TRADER workstation or API and send them to any of its participating brokers through a direct market access (DMA) network. After completing a six-month beta program, the multi-broker derivatives trading platform became publicly available July 10, 2013.[38] TT was awarded “Best New Technology Product - Trading and Execution” for MultiBroker at the 2013 FOW International Awards in London on December 10, 2013.[39]

In February 2013, X_TRADER 7.11 was named "Best New Technology Product" at the Markets Media Market's Choice Awards in New York.

In September 2014, TT won Trading System of the Year, Buy-Side” by FOW magazine at the FOW Asia Awards in Singapore. In November 2014, TT was named “Best Buy-Side Commodities Trading Platform” at Waters Technology’s Buy-Side Technology Awards. And in December 2014, TT won the "Prop Traders' ISV of the Year" award at the FOW International Awards. [40] [41][42]


TT was named the 2015 Trading System of the Year - Buy-side by FOW. [43]


Key People

References

  1. About Trading Technologies. Trading Technologies.
  2. TT Platform. Trading Technologies International.
  3. Trading Technologies Introduces Next-Generation Trading Platform and Unveils New Brand Identity. Business Wire.
  4. TT History. Trading Technologies.
  5. "Against The World". Trader Monthly.
  6. Trading Technologies Company Backgrounder. Trading Technologies.
  7. FIA Annual Volume Survey: The Invigorating Effects of Electronic Trading. FIA.
  8. Template:Citeweb
  9. Template:Citeweb
  10. Template:Citeweb
  11. Template:Citeweb
  12. http://www.reuters.com/article/idUS155991+09-Jun-2010+BW20100609%7Cname=Trading Technologies Acquires TickIt Trading Systems|org=Press Release|date=January 22, 2016}}
  13. Rick Lane of Trading Technologies Talks Mobile Trading and Legacy Systems. John Lothian News.
  14. Investing in cloud computing. FT.
  15. EEX Selects Trading Technologies’ Next-Generation Trading Platform as Direct Screen Offer. EEX.
  16. Trading Technologies new platform now available worldwide. Automated Trader.
  17. Trading Technologies’ Next-Generation Trading Platform, TT, to Provide Connectivity to FEX Global. TT.
  18. Trading Technologies Sues eSpeed Over Bond Trading Technology. Law 360.
  19. Trading Technologies Sues eSpeed Over Bond Trading Technology. Law 360.
  20. Trading Technologies says wins lawsuit against eSpeed. Reuters.
  21. Trading Technologies Wins Another Settlement In Futures Patent Litigation. Law360.
  22. Trading Technologies Settles Two More Lawsuits. Law360.
  23. Trading Technologies Patent Cases Coninue On. FOW.
  24. Trading Technologies wins business by winning patent cases. Crain's Chicago Business.
  25. TT gets $16m as court finds against CQG in patent trial. FOW.
  26. Why this tech firm may have to hit the reset button on its patent-suit strategy. Crain's Chicago Business.
  27. Trading Technologies and Ullink to Provide an Integrated Execution Management System and Order Management System (EMS/OMS) Solution. Trading Technologies.
  28. Trading Technologies Goes Live on NASDAQ OMX eSpeed. BusinessWire.
  29. NASDAQ OMX eSpeed Goes Live on Trading Technologies. Wall Street Journal.
  30. VeloxPro Brings Order Book Visualization to TT Connected Partner Program. Trading Technologies.
  31. Trading Technologies Will Connect to Nasdaq's European Commodities Market. Trading Technologies.
  32. TT links new platform to London data hub. FOW.
  33. Bridging The Gap Between Higher Education & Industry. Building In Chicago.
  34. Template:Citeweb
  35. Chicago Magazine Lists Top 25 Local Workplaces. NBC 5.
  36. Press Release. Trading Technologies.
  37. Best Buy-Side Commodities Trading Platform Trading Technologies. TT.
  38. Trading Technologies Launches Multi-Broker Derivatives Trading Platform. Wall Street & Technology.
  39. Trading Technologies' MultiBroker Wins “Best New Technology Product - Trading and Execution” at 2013 FOW International Awards. Trading Technologies.
  40. Proprietary traders select X_TRADER® as the most innovative and useful technology for their needs. Trading Technologies.
  41. Trading Technologies Wins “Best Buy-Side Commodities Trading Platform” at Buy-Side Technology Awards. Trading Technologies.
  42. Trading Technologies Named “Trading System of the Year, Buy-Side” at FOW Asia Awards. Trading Technologies.
  43. International Awards 2015 Winners. FOW.