Thursday, June 3, 2010


So I was thinking about a few things but mostly how the pit was displaced w/the various software frontends, which companies were able to survive the early competitiveness and also how Tickit did things right after the industry matured over 10 years after inception.

I was really fortunate to start my career alongside the emergence of electronic futures trading and one name stands out as a symbol of early excesses, YesTrader. Perhaps the most memorable thing about the company was that it famously took over THE best office view in Chicago, the former Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith office at the front of the CBOT which looks straight down LaSalle. Merrill Lynch gave up the office because they shut their commodities (metals and grains) business at pretty much THE low, right before those markets started to go nuclear as noted in this article from Futures Magazine March 1, 2000: Merrill Lynch dumps commodities

Anyways, I never used YesTrader software but remember the company being noted for being bold enough to snag that prime office and also that it had former CBOT Chairman Pat Arbor on the board, ironically who also pushed for building the new gigantic CBOT financial trading floor. After 16 months in business, YesTrader filed for bankruptcy and this article explains some of the background of the trading software industry at the timein late 2001:

YesTrader forced to file for Chapter 7

I really admire anyone with the courage and conviction to start a company so YesTrader should be acknowledged as an early pioneer in electronic trading.

For a look at their company operations, I had to fire up the WayBackMachine and found an early version of YesTraders Flash based website and also the final version of the YesTrader website.
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