How It All Began
What is the Market Maker? It is a patented options risk management system that began life as a series of linked spreadsheets on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the late 1980s and has mutated several times into its current incarnation as client-server based platform written in C++ and C#. It is in use at the CME, CBOT, NYMEX, LIFFE and the ICE Exchange. Originally designed for use by individual traders, it is a complete package that includes sophisticated analytics, valuation capabilities for pricing almost any type of option product, profit and loss accounting and a surprisingly sophisticated onboard database that can be used to analyze a wide variety of option markets on the basis of historical volatilities, skew parameters and cross-market opportunities. Because of its componentized nature it is highly customizable and has been used by hedge funds, money managers and proprietary trading groups in a number of capacities.
In recent years it has become obvious that real time pricing and execution capability is a necessary part of any full featured option pricing and risk program. The execution component of MMaker, MTrader, was developed on top of the CTS T4 API. It uses Microsoft's WPF technology to achieve a slick look and feel that is, frankly, the best visual interface available today. Users can "peel off" various contract months and optimize their various screens. Mispriced options are highlighted and users can execute them with our "speed hit/lift" features and they can use The Lurker, our "electronic eye" to set levels at which they are willing to trade automatically. With MTrader users have a real-time trading and pricing platform that compares favorably to proprietary systems that are out of reach of all but the most deep-pocketed market participants.
Although MMaker was designed with the professional options trader in mind it lends itself to use by brokers and non-professionals who want to monitor some of the commodity markets. The one trait that all our users share is a strong sensitivity to costs. All long term observers of the markets realize that we are in a period of enormous transition and many long time participants are searching for ways to fit into the brave new world as they see old business models crumble. Our natural users realize that a key part of their survival strategy is to acquire the functionality they need at the lowest possible cost. Indeed, in difficult markets an ability to hold costs down may be one of the main determinants of future survival. We are committed to providing the greatest amount of functionality at the lowest possible cost.
Because we are a small shop we are able to offer our customers some custom features at no additional cost. If the requests demand more significant amounts of work we can offer extremely competitive programming rates. If customers want more extensive integration with in-house systems or other platforms or want to build out MMaker to meet certain needs we are happy to enter into consulting arrangements with them.