Capitalising on the rapid advances in computing and communications technology, electronic trading is making inroads in the global financial markets. More stock exchanges and trading venues around the world are migrating from floor-based trading because of the many cost and operational efficiencies offered by electronic trading platforms.
In addition to removing physical and geographical constraints on trading and allowing large and complex transactions - which previously would have been prohibitively expensive and technically impossible, automated trading plays a vital role in fostering greater market liquidity and transparency, and increased competition.
At the forefront of bringing continuous innovations to the industry is premier securities firm Interactive Brokers Group IB whose founder, chairman and CEO, Thomas Peterffy, is widely considered as the "father of digital trading". Renowned for his pioneering work on algorithmic trading and revolutionary introduction of the first floor-based, handheld computers in , Peterffy served as the initial driving force behind the advancement and deployment of automated technology for the financial markets.
Through its subsidiaries located all over the world, IB operates as a fully automated electronic broker-dealer and market maker offering a truly global platform. The two businesses are complementary and leverage the firm's combined scale and volume and integrated trading system and communications network. In its electronic brokerage business, IB caters to traditional and prime brokers, and individual investors and traders, providing them an advanced order management, trade execution and portfolio management platform at the lowest commission costs in the industry.
Using one IB Universal Account, clients can simultaneously monitor more than exchanges and market centres in 24 countries, 24 hours a day, six days a week, and electronically execute trades in these markets across multiple classes of tradable, exchange-listed products denominated in 21 currencies, including the Chinese yuan.
Electronically traded products include stocks, options, futures, bonds, foreign exchange and mutual funds. IB and its affiliates execute almost one million trades per day. As a market maker, IB creates liquidity by offering competitively tight bid-offer spreads on over 1 million securities and futures products listed on electronic exchanges around the world.
With its technological prowess and breadth of automation, IB is able to charge the lowest commissions and offer the lowest margin loan rates at 0. This is our competitive edge. IB is the successor to the market making business founded by Peterffy on the floor of the American Stock Exchange in Tapping into his computer programming background and unusual mathematical mind, Peterffy - who emigrated from Hungary to the United States in - was among the first to apply a computerised mathematical model to continuously value equity option prices.
In the early s, he introduced handheld computers on the exchange floor to track positions and constantly reprice options on one stock. By , he brought online a fully integrated, automated market making system for stocks, options and futures, ushering in a new era of computerised trading.
As this pioneering system was adopted across the globe, Peterffy launched online brokerage functions and established a US broker-dealer subsidiary, Interactive Brokers, in We see our technology-focused company culture as a fundamental strength and what distinguishes us from our rivals. We are indeed part of the financial industry, but at the core we are a technology business. IB has grown to become the largest electronic brokerage firm in the world with , daily average revenue trades last year.
Its customer base is geographically diversified, having , clients from countries including as far as Antarctica. IB leads the industry in new customer account growth, with its total customer accounts rising 18 per cent last year. Hedge funds, mutual funds, proprietary trading groups, introducing brokers, financial advisers and other institutional customers made up about 29 per cent of the firm's total accounts at the end of last year, with individual traders and investors accounting for the remainder.
The dynamically growing firm has steadily expanded its global footprint to bring the real advantages of its electronic access trading technology to more traders, investors and institutions worldwide. Apart from its solid trading history, decades of expertise and extensive global reach, IB has earned numerous industry accolades, affirming its leading industry position. This year, IB was awarded top honours in Barron's 20th annual ranking of Best Online Brokers, ranking number one for a fourth consecutive year.
IB was also named low-cost broker by Barron's for the 11th year in a row, and gained top marks in several sub-categories, including best for options traders, best for frequent traders and best for international traders.
For professional traders who want to build their routines into the system, we are the right partner for them because our platform is highly customisable and easily configured to remember users' preferences. All trades in the firm's platform are self-directed by the customer or by the customer's independent adviser. To help its clients easily make informed investment decisions and trade efficiently, IB provides advanced analytic tools and more than 60 sophisticated order types and algorithms.
For instance, the IB SmartRouting technology continuously searches for and routes to the venue with the best available price for stocks, options and combinations. Clients also gain access to the Probability Lab, which offers a practical way to think about options without the complicated mathematics, and the Option Strategy Lab, which creates simple and complex multileg option orders based on the user's own price and volatility forecast.
Last June, IB launched the Investors' Marketplace, a revolutionary online hub where traders and investors, fund managers, financial advisers, technology providers, research analysts, business developers and administrators can connect with each other and do business.
This web-based service provides the firm's clients one-stop shopping access to investor service providers worldwide. The better our clients' performance, the more business they will bring to us. This is the winning strategy that we'll continue to follow.
Through its subsidiary Interactive Brokers India , the firm launched its market making business in India in Last year, IB achieved a milestone when it became an exchange participant in the groundbreaking Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect programme, through which its Hong Kong and international clients can trade designated securities on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
We're positioned and ready when the mainland makes that big leap to open trading of options and futures to international investors. Skip to main content. Interactive Brokers delivers efficiency and advantages to investors worldwide. Monday, 19 October, , 5: Wednesday, 23 March, , 5: Business Big Apple offers food, arts, culture 22 Oct Business Sino-Global expands diversified services platform for sustainable growth 23 Mar Business Economic bridge spans the globe 20 Oct Focus on sophisticated investors "Our target customers have always been sophisticated investors and active traders who are comfortable with technology and seeking a global range of products," Peterffy says.
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