Sell-Side Technology Awards 2022: Best smart order routing product/tool—Dash Financial Technologies, an Ion company


Despite advancements in the space, one of the biggest complaints among users of smart order routing tools has remained unchanged for years—a lack of genuine customization capability. Nearly all platforms now offer parameters that can be adjusted for things like aggressiveness and the opportunity to select liquidity destinations. However, the ability to truly tailor strategies for desired speed, yield capture, fee mitigation and price discovery is rare. Given the pressure faced by sell-side firms to provide value and reduce costs, this flexibility is crucial. 

“Trading options at an institutional scale is challenging for many reasons. The market data processing requirements are an order of magnitude more significant than other asset classes, the market structure is unique, and interacting with things like complex order books requires highly specialized technology. Dash Sensor handles all of this incredibly well, while giving us the ability to customize to our precise execution needs.”
Head of electronic product at a global bank


Several years ago, Dash created its Sensor algorithmic trading/smart order routing platform, which includes a full suite of benchmark and liquidity capture strategies for US options and equities. The suite was built from the ground up with full customization in mind—Dash’s concierge desk works hand-in-hand with clients to implement the Sensor strategies in the same way a tailor creates a bespoke suit. Clients work with Dash to fine-tune the strategies to their specified firm-, trader-, or even symbol-level preference, however defined.

Working in tandem with the Dash360 Analytics portal—which provides full transparency into how their orders were routed, how much liquidity capture was achieved and the associated fees or rebates—Sensor users can create a perpetual cycle of execute, analyze, and refine that enables continual performance optimization.

Sensor also offers unique functionality, especially for trading US listed-options—a market in which Dash is the largest agency execution provider by a wide margin. Trading options requires specialized tools to address the market’s unique structure and intensive data consumption requirements. Sensor was built with these nuances in mind, with specific functionality designed for complicated execution scenarios such as crossing, complex order book interaction, and volatility trading.


  • Global expansion of Dash’s options product suite
  • Further enhancements to Dash OMS, including full incorporation of Dash 360 transparency tools into the front-end and introduction of broker-neutral capabilities
  • Tighter integration into other Ion Markets technology platforms based on client needs


There are two qualities that separate Dash’s Sensor offering from other smart order routing tools on the market: transparency and customizability. Both are critical to market participants looking to measure the quality of their executions and, based on their analysis, optimize their trading strategies with the view to improving outcomes.

“Dash has been fortunate to carve out a successful niche in the options execution space over the last decade, and Sensor is key to our offering. By marrying its advanced technology with an extremely high degree of customization and the transparency offered through Dash 360, we’re able to offer our clients the ability to define performance as they see fit, analyze their executions with an extraordinary level of granularity, and then continue to optimize their strategies based on that analysis.” 
Stino Milito, president, Dash Financial Technologies


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