The Gateway to Algorithmic and Automated Trading

Running man: HTG's Chris Hehmeyer

Published in Automated Trader Magazine Issue 29 Q2 2013

It seems somehow fitting that Chris Hehmeyer got his start as a runner on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade. That was in 1978 and over the next 35 years he has kept on running. Hehmeyer now runs HTG, a company that embraces all manner of traders. When he's not doing that, he also serves as the chairman of the National Futures Association. Automated Trader caught up with him to hear his thoughts on the value of diversity and what he thinks of some of the impending changes in the marketplace.

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.

The remainder of this article is only available to Paid Subscribers

Click here to purchase a subscription to Automated Trader

  • Copyright © Automated Trader Ltd 2017 - Strategies | Compliance | Technology

click here to return to the top of the page