AT: Why don't you start by describing your company.
Chris: HTG is a proprietary trading firm that trades most futures and options on futures. We also trade US government securities and foreign exchange. We have a number of different types of strategies - market-making, block trades, some allocation of capital and some high frequency strategies.
AT: So you run the whole gamut?
Chris: Yes, but you'll notice we don't trade equities, and we don't trade equity options.
AT: I mean not necessarily in terms of asset classes but in terms of trading styles - everything from sub-second to longer-term.
Chris: That's exactly right.
AT: A lot of firms specialise, but you do a number of different things. Why have you chosen to spread your strategies across a variety of methods instead of specialising?
Chris: The nature of our business model is to allow traders to come to HTG and with us they can approach the market the way they want to approach it. We have three parts to the business. Market making, where we're making markets over the phone and electronically where we stream some prices. Then we have this business that's the platform, people become part of the firm and have their own strategies and we really are partnering with them. And then third we have allocations of capital to managers who are independent.
The nature of our business is to have a diversity of different approaches.
AT: Can you talk about that model where you provide the platform and partner with prop traders?
Chris: As a pre-requisite, we have to be able to control the pre-trade risk and we have to understand the strategy of what they're doing. We have to be able to see the risk - with most of the futures exchanges we can do that. So we have to have transparency of what they're doing on a real-time basis.
So we manage the risk, but other than that we're open to partnering with people who take all kinds of different approaches. Some of them day trade, they swing trade, they spread trade, they run automated HFT systems, all kinds of different things.