All posts by Trading Technologies

As the curtain rises on yet another FIA Expo in TT’s hometown of Chicago, I’m reflecting back on everything that’s transpired since last year’s event. As seems to be the case every Expo, a lot has happened in our little corner of the world at TT.

Most recently, we announced the acquisition of Neurensic, a Chicago start-up that developed a trade surveillance system based on machine learning. The technology, which has its roots in artificial intelligence, is already being used by a handful of our customers. In the most simple terms, it identifies and flags trading activities or patterns that may be viewed as problematic by regulators. It does so before they become an issue, which is something no other trade surveillance product can do today.

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Chicago Skyline at Dusk
Today marks the start of the annual FIA Expo conference, with opening festivities kicking off this evening at City Winery. Tomorrow morning, we’ll be among the many companies exhibiting our products when the trade show hall opens at 10am.

Expo is always eagerly anticipated by all of us at Trading Technologies. It provides one of the best opportunities to connect with customers, prospects, partners and friends from the futures and options community while also showcasing the newest capabilities of our software.

This year, the excitement for us leading up to Expo is even stronger than usual. If you’ve been following our progress, I’m sure you already know that the new TT, which we previewed at last year’s Expo, became commercially available in March. Since that time, the platform has continued to rapidly evolve, bringing TT closer to (or in some cases beyond) feature parity with our legacy X_TRADER® software. We’ve added many new features including support for order-cross prevention, third-party algos, block trading, CME’s MDP 3.0 price feed and more. At the same time, we’ve continued to dramatically reduce latency compared to X_TRADER, and future enhancements will continue to drive down these numbers; stay tuned for updates.
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The new TT platform allows users to replicate the X_TRADER experience,
but with more accessibility, flexibility and power than ever before.

Today marks a momentous achievement for both us and our customers. After revealing one year ago that we were building a brand new trading platform, today we’re announcing that the platform, which we’re calling simply TT, is now available to everyone, worldwide.

This marks only the second time in our 21-year history that we’ve embarked on an initiative of this magnitude. Our original trading platform, X_TRADER®, was introduced in 1994 and has been our flagship—and only—offering ever since. X_TRADER has been time-tested and lauded with awards for more than two decades, and it still remains one of the most-used systems for professional derivatives traders worldwide.

But technology and market needs have changed, driving us to rethink how we build and deliver software to our customers. Businesses across nearly every industry are embracing the software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model. While the professional financial services industry has been slower than most to do so, we believe that time has come.

We built TT upon a SaaS framework, empowering us and our distribution partners to do things never before possible with other platforms. Thanks to this approach, the new TT platform requires no client-side software. FCMs can permission new traders in minutes through web-based tools, from anywhere on any device. And our users can begin trading in just minutes after creating a TT account and logging in.

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What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
          – William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet

Late last year, a group of us convened to tackle a formidable task: the naming of our next-generation professional trading platform, which we’re preparing to release later this year. We came armed with brainstorming supplies including a long list of names generated by an employee contest, ideas submitted from our agency partners, a thesaurus, many internet-connected devices and a bunch of exercises designed to spark creativity.

That initial meeting yielded a shortlist of contenders. In the weeks that followed, we continued to evaluate the options and narrow the field. We agreed that the perfect name not only needed to be catchy, unique and memorable but also reflective of what our brand is all about. Eventually, we rallied around a name that was derived from our flagship product, X_TRADER®.

People responded positively and liked what they saw in the new platform. Traders were very happy to learn that the new platform was expected to be significantly faster than our existing technology. They really liked how the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model would make it possible for them to view and trade the markets on the latest version of our technology from practically any internet-connected desktop or mobile device. They were also eager to gain access to technology like the “forever audit trail,” which allows them to search and gain insight from their trading activity dating back to the day their TT account was created.

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Look for the hashtag #TTturns20 on Twitter
for more about our milestone anniversary.

Today, as we celebrate 20 years of building trading software for our customers, I thought it was worth a look back at how the industry, and subsequently TT, has evolved over the past two decades and take a look at what’s ahead for our customers and TT.

On this date 20 years ago, we were founded in Frankfurt, Germany when nearly all trading on futures markets was conducted via open outcry. Access was extremely limited, and the ability for people to realize the benefits of listed futures, namely accurate price discovery and risk management, was limited to a select few.

When TT made Chicago its home a few years later, the floors of the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange roared. But as the trading community got comfortable with the concept of electronic trading, volume began to gradually migrate to the screen. A product we released in those early days, MD Trader®, had a huge impact because it was a radically different way to interface with the electronic market. It gave traders the ability to see and interact with the market with a level of confidence they hadn’t seen before and, in many ways, went hand-in-hand with the dramatic migration of volume to “the screens.”

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