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Alternative Market Briefing

Chicago is where innovation happens

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chris Dopp
Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva:

Chicago is different from other financial centres, it was said during the recent Opalesque Chicago Roundtable. For a start, in Chicago, the birthplace of the futures market, tends to be more structural and more derivatives focused. Furthermore, it is where innovation occurs.

Two or three years ago, people in Chicago only cared about "getting faster". But now that technology has become speedier, "the cost to get to the minimal level of competitive latency has come down," said Chris Dopp, Senior Vice President with the Buy-Side Business Development team at Eurex Exchange. "Everyone is fast now."

Dopp observed that in the last 12 months, capital allocation has shifted from technology investments toward research, as people want to build better algorithms.

"Some have called it the Smart Trading Trend," he added. "We see this as a
 rather significant evolutionary change here in Chicago."

"30 years ago on the trading floors, you would physically hand in order for execution and that person would run it into the pit," he recalls. "Then, a system of hand signals was developed, because it was faster to flash the order than physically running. Later, direct headsets were introduced so that people could not see large orders being flashed into the pit." Then you had the electronic markets, the click of a mouse, automation and algorithms. It is all ab......................

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