The Curious Case of the Trader–Vendor

Tradeworx, now Thesys Group, is the latest in a series of firms that has decided to pull back from trading activities and focus on fintech. And it’s unlikely to be the last.

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Tradeworx, one of the pioneers of modern high-speed trading, has invested heavily in financial technology throughout its years in existence. Low-latency routes for orders, co-location with exchange mainframes, ever-faster switches and server boxes—none of it came cheap. But it had an ace up its sleeve: It developed its own proprietary technology—its secret sauce—which allowed it to be successful in the cut-throat world of high-frequency trading (HFT). 

Soon, it began offering this technology to

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