Making Trades: 17 Trading Firms and Technology Companies Changing the Industry

Written by Alyssa Schroer
Published on Jul. 17, 2024
Making Trades: 17 Trading Firms and Technology Companies Changing the Industry
street view of the chicago board of trade building

Technology has found its place in the finance industry, spawning fintech companies and changing the way the industry operates as a whole.  One area finally feeling the effects of tech is trading markets, though it is a regulated sector, new systems reliant on technology are becoming the norm in trading.

Trading firms are evolving, using software and data to produce new strategies, fuel trade decisions and manage risk and compliance along the way. Check out the following tech-enabled trading firms operating in Chicago.

Chicago Trading Firms To Know

  • Wolverine Trading
  • Optiver
  • Hudson River Trading
  • Trading Technologies
  • Geneva Trading
  • Belvedere Trading
  • DRW


Type: Futures Trading

What they do: NinjaTrader offers trading software and brokerage services to active futures traders. The company supports over 1.5 million traders across the globe with technology, discount commissions and customer support. NinjaTrader developed a cloud-based futures trading platform that allows customers to trade from any location via desktop, mobile and web applications.

Type: Investment Management

What they do: Enfusion is a SaaS company that offers technology to support a variety of finance professionals, including traders, portfolio managers, CFOs, accountants and COOs. Its cloud-native platform comes with solutions that cover front-, middle- and back-office operations and provides users with analytics capabilities that allow them to produce customized reports and make data-driven decisions.


Type: Principal Trading

What they do: Founded in Dublin in 1999, Geneva Trading quickly opened its Chicago office in 2000, getting a jump on global market expansion. Geneva places technology at the forefront of its operations, using data science and its own proprietary software to enhance how the firm participates in worldwide markets. 


Type: Proprietary Options Trading

What they do: PEAK6 operates a portfolio of companies that includes PEAK6 Capital Management, a firm that specializes in proprietary options trading. Its team members bring together a combination of financial, technology and data expertise to optimize trading and supply liquidity for the U.S. options market.


Type: Proprietary Trading

What they do: Belvedere Trading takes a team-based approach to trading, consistently rotating traders between products to provide more experience, more knowledge and broader, more diverse market perspectives. The firm deals in US and foreign indices, energies, grains, softs, metals and interest rates.


Type: Diversified Trading + Tech

What they do: DRW is a diversified trading firm dealing in their own capital and risk across a variety of assets and disciplines. Founded in 1992, DRW has grown substantially over the years, building a team of problem solvers and entering new fields like real estate and cryptocurrency.


Type: Quantitative Trading

What they do: Hudson River Trading is a quantitative trading firm using math and data science to develop trading algorithms. The company, with 8 offices throughout the world, rely on engineers, data scientists and mathematicians to guide their algorithms and maximize their investing capabilities.


Type: Market Maker

What they do: Founded in Amsterdam in 1989, IMC Trading is a leading global market maker. The firm trades on over 100 exchanges around the world and uses highly automated systems and trading strategies in an effort to ensure “tighter” spreads between bid and offer prices, thus reducing transaction costs for buyers and sellers. IMC Trading trades primarily on the basis of data and algorithms, utilizing its execution platform to provide liquidity to financial markets worldwide.


Type: Market Maker

What they do: Optiver is an electronic market maker, providing liquidity to markets with their own capital. Operating globally, the company combines technology and risk management to provide options, ETF’s and futures to investors. Optiver’s services make markets more efficient, transparent and competitive.


Type: Proprietary Trading + Asset Management

What they do: Wolverine Trading specializes in market making and valuation arbitrage across global markets. The company continuously bids and offers quotations on a myriad of derivatives and securities, including equity options, index options, ETFs and futures. Wolverine Trading also maintains an asset management sector that invests in equity, credit and commodity asset classes.


Type: Trading Platform

What they do: ThinkMarkets operates a variety of trading platforms, where traders can invest in everything from Forex to cryptocurrencies, indices and commodities. The ThinkMarkets’ MetaTrader 5 platform comes equipped with industry leading features like 21 timeframes, 6 pending order types, hedging and netting options and a multi-thread strategy tester for EAs.


Type: Software for Capital Markets

What they do: Capital Markets Gateway (CMG) creates financial technology solutions for professionals working in capital markets. The platform helps streamline workflows and combine important fragmented information that is often strewn across markets. Currently, more than 80 leading asset managers utilize CMG to manage over $10 trillion.


Type: Trading Software

What they do: Trading Technologies makes trading software, data and infrastructure solutions for modern professional traders. The platform helps traders execute futures, cryptocurrencies, options and other trades quickly and from anywhere. Their data solutions provide real-time market insights and access to information on every transaction.


Type: Proprietary Trading

What they do: Made up of a team of developers, quants and traders in the areas of options market making and quantitative trading, Akuna Capital is a young firm with tech and collaboration at its core. Founded in 2011, Akuna is one of the few non-established firms to provide liquidity as an options market maker, and currently trades in the US, Hong Kong and crypto markets.


Type: Proprietary Trading

What they do: Founded in 1995, Chicago Trading Company is a proprietary trading firm comprised of technologists, quants, operations professionals and, of course, traders. The firm works within the world’s most complex markets, constantly collaborating to innovate and solve problems.


Type: Trading Software and Technology

What they do: Sterling offers multiple technologies like trading platforms, risk management and infrastructure to connect global trading networks. Sterling’s suite of products help multiple types of traders and market professionals compete effectively and compliantly. 


Type: Proprietary Trading

What they do: XR Trading is a market-making firm providing liquidity for a range of financial instruments and asset classes like energy, equity indexes, foreign exchange, metals, treasuries and agricultural products. Operating with nine trading teams, the firm works collaboratively and utilizes technology to solve problems and develop new trading strategies.

This article was originally published in 2019. Rose Velazquez and Ashley Bowden contributed reporting to this story.

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