Omega Research expects to complete its merger with OnlineTrading.com next month, giving Omega-an investment strategy and research company-the ability to execute trades. Previously the firm had only been able to help its customers plan their investment portfolios.
Omega Research was founded as an automated investment-strategy company in 1982. Last October, the company acquired WindowOnWallStreet.com to boost its data and research capabilities by obtaining their Financial Data Cast Network because, as Sean Davis, vice president of investor and media relations explains, "the disconnected data created a disconnected experience." In January, Omega announced a definitive agreement to merge with OnlineTrading.com so it could capture the market of trades that its customers were executing elsewhere.
Currently, Omega has two main offerings for the active investor with one more on the way. The first is TradeStation-which has been in the marketplace for a number of years and, according to Davis, serves more than 40,000 customers. The second is WindowOnWallStreet.com, which was released in January at $79.95 per month and at last count (March 31) boasts more than 6,000 customers. Both are targeted to the same general market niche, with TradeStation offering some additional investment strategy back-testing programs.
Later this year, the company plans to offer enhancements to WindowOnWallStreet.com, such as IntelliRoute-intelligent order routing that automatically seeks the best price at the time the order is placed-and PowerOrders, which uses discretionary capabilities much like a broker trying to fill a large order through various venues. Once WindowOnWallStreet.com customers are fitted with the new capabilities, Omega will release a new offering containing those new applications and more: TradeStation.com
TradeStation.com is targeted to "someone who wants to perform strategy-based trading," says Davis. In addition to IntelliRoute and PowerOrders capabilities, TradeStation.com will have StrategyBuilder, allowing the investor to pre-test his trading scenarios. At $195.00 per month, Tradestation.com offers real-time streaming data, including Nasdaq Level II quotes, and also has the ability to accommodate add-ons, such as third-party strategy and risk management programs, provided they are written in EasyLanguage programming script.
Davis says that WindowOnWallStreet.com had 6,000 users in the first 10 weeks of its release, as opposed to the 3,000 brokers, he contends, that use Cybercorp's active-trader software. Davis adds that he sees his competition as "every online brokerage firm out there," but singles out Cybercorp as Omega's nearest challenger. "They don't have the integrated back-testing capacity. They don't have as robust an application that's been tested. Omega has been in business for 18 years and Cybercorp can't compete with that knowledge," contends Davis. Cypercorp chose not to comment on Davis' statements.