Natasha Solis, one of Chicago’s very well connected senior executives in the derivatives technology sector, has been appointed Managing Director at Matrix Execution Technologies, responsible for global sales, in another example of the aspirations of Chicago’s refined listed venue providers to gain a worldwide audience across all sectors
The Mid West’s capital which evokes nostalgic nuances of post-colonial America, its resource-rich, raw-materials trading pre-constitutional history conjuring up images of the hopes of the future brought by the railroad to the sun belt, and the export of grains, foodstuffs, roadstone and what are now considered to be very valuable commodities to the old world in order to power the industrial revolution.
Chicago’s illustrious trading history paved the way for it to become the exchange-traded commodities and futures center of the world, carving out an identity which has lasted 240 years, the city now being at the leading edge of electronic derivatives trading, and home to vast institutions including CME Group, CBOE, IntercontinentalExchange and Cantor Futures Exchange.
Today, Chicago is globally recognized as the world’s largest and most important center for electronically traded exchange listed derivatives, its home-grown technological prowess and institutional executing venue infrastructure representing the modern rendition of the city’s pioneering commodity-trading and raw materials exporting history.
Some of the world’s most experienced institutional electronic trading executives have emerged from Chicago’s giant listed derivatives and multi-asset venues, one of whom is Natasha Solis.
Today, Natasha Solis moves on from her position at professional trading technology solution provider Rival Systems, whose derivatives-focused front end trading platform, real-time scenario risk products and C++ development platform which allows traders to build their own automated strategies and connect to marketplaces via API sits among Chicago’s giants including Trading Technologies and proprietary FinTech divisions of the aforementioned traditional derivatives exchanges.
Ms Solis leaves Rival Systems to assume a senior executive position at Matrix Execution Technologies,offers derivatives trading technology to broker dealers, professional traders and hedge funds. We fill the much-needed gap for a comprehensive, cost-effective technology solution for the professional and retail derivatives trading community.
Speaking to Ms Solis today, FinanceFeeds gained further persperctive, in that the product range includes the Matrix Elite solution, which is a retail-focused trading and analytics platform that also has order routing and charting capabilities, the Matrix Pro system which is a state of the art, EMS/OMS with charting and risk management capabilities for the professional trading community; and VolLab which is a professional trading platform for training, which employs bots, AI, rigorous curriculum, and real-world simulations in a flexible format for a personalized training experience.
Ms Solis joined Rival Systems in March 2015 as Director of Sales and Business Development, having spent the previous year at Orc Group, a firm that she joined from IntercontinetalExchange, where she was Sales Director between September 2012 and October 2013.
Ms Solis holds a BA in Economics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from which she graduated in 2002.
Well connected among Chicago’s listed derivatives global elite, Ms Solis is an institutional sales executive whose expertise in professional trading platforms is overlapping into the retail sector, as the exchange fraternity becomes increasingly interested in growing its retail presence.
In September last year introduced the provision of ICE Futures US and ICE Futures Europe products on its Rival Trader platform, providing exchange-traded futures and options on the two prominent venues which are part of multi-asset electronic exchange technology provider and venue IntercontinentalExchange.
IntercontinentalExchange, a staunch rival of CBOE, itself has embarked on an aggressive campaign toward retail and OTC electronic trading, having attempted to buy FastMatch last year from its three shareholers, Credit Suisse, BNY Mellon and FXCM, for between $200 million and $250 million. Not very many retail firms or retail institutional venues have the wherewithal to be able to fork out that kind of capital to increase their mettle by acquiring institutional venues, but to the large listed execution facilities, this is a drop in the ocean.
FastMatch did not sell to ICE, however the mere notion that there was such a high value interest from an exchange operator would be enough to spur other members of Chicago’s elite to join forces if their ideology is aligned.
Specialists in futures and listed derivatives platforms know this clearly, as detailed to FinanceFeeds by Ryan Hansen, President of Tradovate.
Mr. Hansen, who is not only a stalwart of the listed derivatives sector but has a substantial background in retail FX having held senior positions at GAIN Capital where he was VP of Business Development at the company’s OEC futures division in Chicago for almost four years, a tenure which followed seven and a half years at PFGBest as Director of Vendor Integration.
In Chicago, Mr. Hansen met with FinanceFeeds and explained ““Futures trading on a retail electronic platform via exchanges is sustainable as the average deposit in futures is much higher than that of the average FX trader” said Mr. Hansen.
“This is because with futures contracts there is not a smaller sized component like there is in FX with its mini or micro lots. The margin requirements therefore necessitate a higher account size.”
“I am of the belief that exchanges provide a valuable service. Does it warrant what they charge? That is an interesting question. We need to hear more from traders on this. Currently we do hear a lot from traders on this subject, and in doing so we hear both sides of this, from the customers and the exchanges with regard to fees” he said.
Attractive to OTC traders due to spreads and ability to view limit order book on exchanges
This addresses the brokerage side of the equation which is typically over half the fees that would incur on transaction cost is now eliminated. The membership fee provides a fixed cost for unlimited, commission-free transactions per month.
“We want to reduce the cost for active traders” – Ryan Hansen, President, Tradovate
“As far as the existing market is concerned, we want to provide active futures traders a means by which they can reduce cost” said Mr. Hansen.
“OTC FX trading is quite different. Exchanges like the CME have FX futures, which we offer in full and mini and micro lot sizes. We would love to have people who currently operate in the OTC space that maybe want to trade on exchanges. In America, futures trading is very popular popular and we can extend this to a wide audience.”
Compared to OTC futures contracts, in particular CFDs, the spread is tighter on exchange-traded futures, and also the trader can see the limit order book because some exchanges provide depth of market up to 20 price levels. CFDs, being OTC, have wider spread and the trader cannot see the depth of market.
As the FX market continues to fragment, and higher regulatory costs for bilateral trades start to bite, exchanges are no doubt eyeing an opportunity to get closer to the FX market by offering capital efficient client clearing/counter-party risk mitigation solutions to the OTC markets.
It would therefore make sense for ICE as a vertically integrated exchange with a strong clearing capability, to look to enhance their position by buying a relatively small but growing FX platform like FastMatch.
It is clear from our research that listed derivatives exchanges are indeed moving toward attracting a larger group of retail clients, and with specialist firms such as Matrix Execution ramping up its senior level talent, this dynamic is not one to be ignored.