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Dash Launches New Options Order Management System

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Dash Financial Technologies, the options trading technology vendor acquired last year by ION, has launched Dash OMS, a redesigned order management system (OMS) built specifically for traders with options-centric workflows.

Dash OMS, designed to replace the company’s Blaze product, includes integrated volatility trading functionality, and provides access to all DASH’s routing and algorithmic execution tools, including the Sensor suite and Dash ATS, with support for all US listed-option products, including single-leg, spreads and crossing orders. The OMS is also integrated with Dash’s BrokerPoint network, and supports inbound and outbound FIX connectivity to third-party systems.

“The options business has evolved significantly over the last several years, with significant increases in volumes and market volatility combined with more sophisticated electronic order types,” says David Cross, Co-Head of Options at Dash. “That gave us a reason to re-platform the technology to give users a better overall experience. On the back end, we’re now processing upwards of 1.5 million options strikes versus around 8,000 NMS securities for context. That requires a tremendous amount of data to be consumed, so we now have lighter weight market data inputs to allow users to quickly interact with increased number of symbols, expiries and strikes.”

The new OMS has greatly improved functionality, says Cross. “We’ve built more sophisticated liquidity seeking, pricing discovery and volatility-based tools to handle the client requirements to access fragmented liquidity across the 16 US listed options exchanges. And with Finra and the SEC’s regulatory requirements for the listed options market, the requirements from a workflow and reporting perspective are quite significant. It’s one thing to have tools and technology that allow orders to be executed. But having the technology to support the workflow to make sure that you’re compliant from a reporting perspective is also extremely critical, and a real challenge for front-end technology providers. And there are very few out there that have been able to get that harmonization with functionality, workflow and regulatory reporting.”

Dash OMS is targeted at both the buy side and the sell side, as well as proprietary trading firms, says Cross. “At a high level, the product is aimed at participants that are very options centric,” he says, “including investment banks, interdealer brokers and volatility-based traders, who use the more sophisticated electronic options algos that we’ve built. For example, certain firms are looking to leverage our Vega trading algo suite, which allows them to create a basket of option orders across a particular series of expirations, strikes or strips of calls and/or puts in order to achieve their desired target Vega.”

The new OMS, designed as a lightweight executable, which allows it to work alongside other market facing applications, currently handles all US listed options, but there are plans to extend the coverage, says Cross. “We’re looking to expand the offering globally and are having conversations with some of our largest clients about that,” he says. “We’re also working with our new partners on the ION side to analyse requirements to support our options product on a global scale, such as shared market data, facilities and so on.”

Dash OMS is now live at around a dozen client sites, according to Cross, with plans to migrate the entire Blaze user base to the new platform.

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