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OptionsDesk Adopts ION’s XTP Front-to-Back Suite for Exchange-Traded Derivatives

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OptionsDesk, the UK options broker that provides advisory and brokerage services for retail investors, corporations, and financial institutions, has signed a long-term strategic partnership with ION, the trading, analytics, treasury and risk management solutions vendor. The deal will enable OptionsDesk to expand its exchange-traded derivatives (ETDs) capabilities by utilising ION’s XTP Front-to-Back Suite for both equity derivatives and traditional futures and options.

Building on its existing relationship with ION, the company has selected ION’s XTP Trading, XTP Clearing, and XTP Cleared Derivatives solutions to underpin its end-to-end digital strategy and support its next growth phase.

“We’re primarily an equity derivatives business, but we really do want to expand a lot more into commodities and capital markets,” James Proudlock, Managing Director at OptionsDesk  tells TradingTech Insight. “Knowing that we’ve got both the equity derivatives and futures & options capability is really exciting for us, because historically they have almost always been separate.” Even in the biggest shops, they’re traditionally run as separate business units, says Proudlock. “They sit on different floors, they have different systems, and those systems don’t really talk to each other. So when we were evaluating solutions, we wanted something that was as good at equities and equity derivatives as it was at futures and options. And ION clearly stood head and shoulders above all other derivatives technology providers in that regard.”

Francesco Margini, Chief Product Officer for Cleared Derivatives, ION Markets, adds: “This is not completely new, but in terms of front to back integration of equity derivatives, we’re expanding the options exercise and assignment functionality to properly process the physicals. And we’re really proud of the fact that OptionsDesk will be the first customer able to effectively process equity derivatives alongside other ETDs across the front, middle and back office.”

For OptionsDesk, it was essential to partner with a vendor that could deliver a robust solution, says Proudlock. “When offering futures and options to retail customers, you’ve got to be incredibly careful about the exposures that those customers take on. You’ve got to be able to have margin simulations, very strong pre trade risk controls, and an absolutely bulletproof front-to-back infrastructure, because in the retail environment, the regulator is understandably very much in favour of protecting those retail investors. So you really need to make sure that you have institutional grade tools for those retail investors.”

“The solution is totally hosted and managed by ION on behalf of AMT,” says Margini. “We take care of the technology part, all the software upgrades, the monitoring of infrastructure, the connectivity, the processing, everything.”

OptionsDesk is a trading name of AMT Futures Ltd and part of the AMC Group.

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