08.06.2013
By Terry Flanagan

OptionsCity Preps for London

For Chicago-based OptionsCity Software, landing a new Japanese bank client that employs traders in New York and London is its latest move toward globalization.

OptionsCity didn’t identify the new client, but said the firm has trading enterprises spanning European over the counter and global energy markets. Gaining traction in the institutional space is a logical growth step, OptionsCity said, and its expansion coincides with final steps to open a London office for business development and client service.

OptionsCity’s key products are Metro, an electronic trading and market-making platform for options, and Freeway, a multi-asset automated trading and development platform.

“The new client’s deployment of OptionsCity Metro and Freeway to its traders in New York and London solidifies our effort to attract large-scale institutions and dovetails with our European office,” which is expected to open within two months, said Jerald David, chief development officer for OptionsCity.

David is leading the effort to get OptionsCity’s London office up and running. “The office is ready and we’ve extended offers to managers skilled in business development in combination with support and onboarding,” David said.

OptionsCity’s strategy is to expand gradually in other European and Middle East markets, building on the software vendor’s “reputation for innovation, speed and flexibility” in established derivatives markets, David told Markets Media.

OptionsCity is in the process of certifying with exchanges Eurex and LME to complement its ICE Futures U.K., Liffe and CME Europe connections on the continent, David said.

The Japanese bank client has integrated its internal systems into Metro via the Freeway application programming interface and will utilize Metro SmartCompete, a feature that reduces response time for pricing complex spreads, OptionsCity said in a press release.

Recent enhancements to the Metro market-making engine allow the bank to take advantage of optimal quote prioritization, the release stated. David added that said the enhancements accommodate institutional demand for global energy trading.

OptionsCity won the institutional mandate on factors including built-in execution and risk services, and opportunities for traders in separate geographies to quickly collaborate on designing, back-testing, and executing automated strategies, David stated.

Risk consolidation of OTC trades and North American options capabilities also satisfied the bank traders’ requirements, he said.

OptionsCity sees continued opportunity in derivatives for the retail and institutional client sectors, currently tepid market conditions notwithstanding. “The transition from voice or pit to electronic trading has not been fully realized,” David said. “Electronically traded options will continue to grow, near term and long term.”

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