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Trade Talk Blog: (Re) Introducing TradeCo

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TradeCo Mission & Vision

TradeCo is a proprietary trading group that is a subsidiary of Trading Technologies. It has been operating for around 15 years under a few different names, but always known internally as “TradeCo.” Traditionally, TradeCo was set up as a group of individual traders making their living as independent shops under one roof. Now, we are a small group working together as single unit.

In addition to leading the group’s effort of actually trying to make money in the global futures markets, one of my roles as manager of TradeCo is to explain that yes, there is a proprietary trading group at Trading Technologies, that it does not magically see order flow from TT customers, and that while we provide feedback and are de-facto testing software, our mission is to be profitable. In fact, it is by focusing on profitability that we serve TT and our customers best.

It is usually assumed that our role at TradeCo is to test TT software. That is done already by the QA group. We, as a matter of course, are often first users or early adopters. Yet we would be doing a disservice to TT if all we did was test features or troubleshoot. Of course we provide feedback and look to be first users, but if that is all we did, then our ability to provide TT with new ideas and insights into customer needs would be limited. We can find issues or new uses in the software for the very reason that we are using it in ways unanticipated by its builders.

Even so, TradeCo does more than find issues in TT software. Perhaps now more than ever, trading is an evolving business. It is necessary not only to evolve but also at times completely remake oneself from the ground up in the search for profitable opportunities. The industry has done this again and again. It did it in the transition from open outcry to electronic trading; TT was a driving force in that revolution. We are seeing a new one now as the second wave of electronic trading is making way for the next generation.

Only by being dedicated to profitability will our group properly reflect part of TT’s customer base and be driven by necessity to find new ways to make money. It is when we find or invent those ways that we do our part to drive software innovation. Inventing new things in one of the most open and nakedly competitive marketplaces demands a different set of talents than software testing. Attracting the appropriate talent requires aligning the purpose of the group with that of the employee. Ultimately, the end goal is to have a multi-way flow of information where the imaginations of all of the groups of TT, including TradeCo, come together in building a world-class product and, hopefully, trading revenue.

Consider this (re)introduction of TradeCo to be more than a position piece on the role of a proprietary trading group at a software firm. Instead, Tradeco plans to contribute to the blog from time to time with our insights into the markets as well as the process of helping to build a world-class trading platform. TradeCo will then be able to have not only an indirect positive impact on TT customers via contributions to the software but, hopefully, will provide some insights into market conditions and trading approaches.