Ironbeam: Redefining the Way Traders Access Futures Markets
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Ironbeam: Redefining the Way Traders Access Futures Markets

CIO VendorOmid Farr, Managing Director
Back in the 90s, Omid Farr, Managing Director of Ironbeam, could foresee the influx of online trading, particularly as it applied to the equities markets. Trading platforms had started to become well established on the securities side. However, the futures industry was still in its infancy interfacing retail customers to the exchange floors and matching engines. Envisioning the opportunity of creating a trading solution geared toward futures traders, Farr developed and deployed the first web-based trading platform for futures trading. “The key differentiation of our exclusive trading platform is that it can provide fully automated and turnkey white-labeled solution to our Introducing Brokers (IBs),” says Farr. “This fast automation allows us to build and distribute branded trading platforms for desktop, tablets, and mobile devices in minutes,” he adds.

Ironbeam caters to IBs who seek to introduce their customers to a Futures Commission Merchant (FCM), the organization that accepts orders to buy or sell futures contracts. Customers of these IBs are looking for technology expertise, such as low latency trading solutions, and are demanding trading mobility. “We address both of these demands by providing the technology ‘know how’ of managed co-location services so that customers can operate direct market access at the various exchange data centers,” says Farr. The firm offers Firetip, a trading platform that is designed to be intuitive, easy to learn and offers direct access markets and includes charting, news, account details and statements all at fingertips. Highlighting on the key aspect of Firetip, Farr explains that it is designed to interoperate with other trading platforms. “Any orders executed on any third-party system will instantly propagate to the Firetip platform for risk management and real-time account balance information,” says Farr.

Firetip is available for trading not only via desktop, but also mobile trading on tablet or mobile phone.


By moving to a cloud-based architecture, a trader can input their strategy on a desktop at the office, go to lunch and monitor their trading on their mobile device, and go home and view their orders and executions on a tablet


While the platform is easy to learn, a trader can drill-down and access a myriad of features. For example, customers can determine what their margin requirement impact would be if they were to execute certain orders. “Our customers can deposit or withdraw funds from their account online and we populate any disbursements or receipts in real-time to their account,” explains Farr. As a FCM, Ironbeam’s focus is on facilitating the clearing and execution of its customer’s trades. “We are here to facilitate the demands of the customer and if a customer wants to use a specific solution, we are able to facilitate that business,” says Farr. For this reason, the company is not only limited to offering just the Firetip platform but provides access to the endless number of third party platforms that are available in the industry.

A new disruptive technology introduced in the latest version of Firetip is cloud-based trading. All trading logic and order strategies are inputted on the client but executed and stored on the server. “By moving to a cloud-based architecture, a trader can input their strategy on a desktop at the office, go to lunch and monitor their trading on their mobile device, and go home and view their orders and executions on a tablet,” adds Farr. Further features include notification services such that a customer can ask to be notified if there is a certain change in volume, liquidity, price, or execution of an order. For the future, the company aims at making further substantial investment in cloud based computing. “We believe it will revolutionize how trading platforms are used, particularly as they are used in the cloud based infrastructure,” concludes Farr.