Options traders that rely on low-latency equity quotes and rapid- fire analytical calculations may be reluctant to leave the trading desk for even a few minutes without carrying a mobile device.
But now that so many Wall Streeters are carrying tablets and smartphones to work, can they expect the same institutional quality data?
A three-year old startup, iVerit last week unveiled mobile market data and analytics for the US equity options market exclusively for the iPhone, iPod Touch or the iPad. iVerit is aiming at the professional traders as well as brokers and individual investors.
“Traders want the same desktop quality with them wherever they go on their phones. No one is doing this today in a native application for the iPhone,” according to iVerit Inc.’s CEO Michael Iver who founded the company after two decades in the derivatives business.
Unlike some of the online brokers, which are providing Web-based applications delivered to a mobile phone, Iver has built its applications in a native iOS environment. “The benefit for the end user is speed, reliability and user responsiveness,” said Iver, who led the equity derivatives product at Bloomberg L.P. from 2007 to 2009 in New York, where he had responsibility for the options monitors and analytics. In the 90s, Iver spent 10 years at JP Morgan, where he was an institutional sales person, derivatives strategist and portfolio manager.
iVerit is receiving real time data from the Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA) from Quotemedia, an established middleware/market data provider to broker –dealers.
Mobility is relevant to traders both indoors and out-of-doors, according to Iver. A trader on the buy or sell side could use an iPad to create an independent second quote monitor. Then there's the obvious outdoor mobility — when a trader goes to a client lunch, goes on an airplane or takes the a Friday afternoon off to go to the beach, and still wants to be connected to the market.
“We’re able to serve the entire options chain and then parse that and do the calculations locally on the device. You can ping that server every three seconds to get that data and the calculations are done locally, “ he explained.
Recent improvements in the iPhone make it possible to calculate the option Greeks immediately locally on the device for every option contract, including the Spider options on the S&P 500 tracking exchange traded fund (SPDR Trust), which has over 1,000 options contracts,” said Iver.
“The value is in the analytics using real-time prices to calculate implied volatility, Black-Scholes calculations of implied volatility and Greeks. “You get your data from the cloud and you get your calculations locally so it’s fast,” emphasized Iver.
Citing the convergence of many trends including mobility, Big Data, cloud computing and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work, Iver said that people will want robust and vast amounts of data on consumer devices.
Iver sees the consumer distribution channel via the Apple App Store delivering institutional quality data. “The analytics are possible because the data lives in a web service that you can query and sip from," he added.
“That means that venues (exchanges) and firms that want this data in employees’ hands don’t need to build this,” said Iver, who said his company is a broker-neutral destination.
The main app, OptionChain, is free to download at the App Store, and provides 20-minute delayed tick-by-tick data is free. There are separate prices for the nonprofessional at $24.99 per month and professional at $59.99 per month. Two other products include OptionExchange and Option ExchangeMD (for market data).
Iver has chosen to focus on the iOS devices because the Apple hardware and operating systems together have the major market share. Because he has fewer devices to test, Iver said he could build a more cost effective product. “Android may have a bigger market share but no one device comes close to the iOS ecosystem,” he said.
Looking ahead, Iver said the analytics are flexible for any geography and asset class so it would be easy to expand to options on currencies and commodities. “But the first opportunity is to change people’s behavior that they can get the desktop speed of data, accuracy and analytics, and the immediacy of the user experience.”
Ivy is Editor-at-Large for Advanced Trading and Wall Street & Technology. Ivy is responsible for writing in-depth feature articles, daily blogs and news articles with a focus on automated trading in the capital markets. As an industry expert, Ivy has reported on a myriad ... View Full Bio