This year, OptionsCity dedicated its efforts to enabling our customers to create their own experience to remain competitive in the options on futures markets. We did this by completely re-envisioning our flagship product, adding to our existing core services, and continuing our global expansion and gave back to the community that has helped us thrive. It was a challenging year that saw us put our heads down and intently focus on our core vision and priorities.
All Roads Point To Metro NOW
Our largest initiative of the year was developing a new trading experience with Metro NOW – our new generation, completely customizable software that we announced at FIA Expo last month.
Prior to the November announcement, we significantly revised our flagship Metro product. Early changes helped traders manage global risk and efficiently navigate the Options on Futures markets, both listed and OTC. Simultaneously, OptionsCity also expanded access to the Algo Store, our app store for algorithms, and added to risk management controls with the introduction of the Risk Command Center.
These innovations were recognized with a Best Options Technology designation in the 2014 Markets Choice Awards from Markets Media.
But we weren’t willing to rest on the success of past accomplishments.
Metro NOW capitalizes on the build and buy paradigm, giving traders and market makers the best of software, while allowing them the opportunity to build customizable widgets (or purchase them from our Store).
We’ve received great feedback from our customers and some great recognition in the media (e.g., Markets Media, Wall Street & Technology). We can’t wait to complete Metro NOW’s Beta launch and roll it out to our entire customer base.
In October of 2013, OptionsCity expanded to Europe with a new office in London. 2014 was a successful foundation year for our European operation. We not only worked in 2014 to provide our products to traders globally, but to also help traders compete in an increasingly global environment.
We continued expanding our global hosting offering, providing our customers with a turn-key software, hardware, and connectivity solution. In January, we announced that we selected an Equinix data center in Frankfurt, Germany to expand our colocation capabilities. Shortly after, we announced that we would use Interxion’s London data center to further expand our global footprint, expanding to five sites: New York, Chicago, Aurora, London and Frankfurt.
More recently, OptionsCity completed certification through CME Group’s Global Partnership for trading on BM&FBOVESPA, Brazil’s largest equities and derivatives exchange. The move extended the OptionsCity footprint to Latin American markets.
Supporting the Community
We are extremely fortunate to be a part of the thriving trading technology community here in Chicago, and we are excited to play a role in supporting it.
First, for the second year in a row, OptionsCity’s Freeway powered the University of Chicago’s Trading Competition. OptionsCity worked closely with students from the UChicago and other universities around the country to code and test the students’ algorithms within the Freeway system. Students, regardless of their final P&L tally, were able to create impressive algorithms – evidence that the future of Chicago’s trading and technology scene is very bright.
In addition, OptionsCity hosted a May poker tournament for the 50-year-old non-profit Santa for the Very Poor. [View the photo album here.] The charity helps the less fortunate, purchasing and delivering food, warm clothes, blankets and toys to thousands of our poor neighbors in the Chicago area. The winner, R. Scott Morris of Morris Consulting, claimed a $2,000 airline voucher, while the second-place finisher was Edward Freed of Traditum, who claimed a pair of tickets to the Bears home game vs. the Packers.
While 2014 has been very good to OptionsCity, we remain focused on what we can do in the future. OptionsCity’s recent acquisition of Optionshop is one such forward-thinking move. The acquisition will help us meet the needs of a new kind of customer, while simultaneously helping us serve existing customers with a deeper cloud- and mobile-based solution set. Stay tuned for more on that front in 2015.
Thank you again for your support, your business and your commitment to OptionsCity. We look forward to working with you as we continue to achieve our goals in 2015.
Best wishes to you and yours.