Despite the exodus from the US market by a great many FX companies and electronic trading firms amid widespread industry discontent with the difficult balance between profitability and cost of maintaining membership of the National Futures Association, a new application has been made for membership by Mirus Futures.
Mirus Futures is a division of high-performance trading software developer NinjaTrader, having acquired Mirus Futures recently, and is therefore listed as a Principal on Mirus Futures’ NFA membership application.
The list of Principals whom the NFA will oversee should Mirus Futures be granted membership will include Non-executive directors Raymond Deux, Dierk Detlef Droth and John Michael Gromala, Martin G. Franchi in the capacity of Chief Financial Officer, Patrick Jon Shaughnessy who holds the position of Chief Operating Officer and Eliot James Wickersheimer, the company’s Chief Compliance Officer.
Mr. Deux is the CEO and founder of NinjaTrader, who at the time of acquiring Mirus Futures had issued an announcement to clients that he was”excited to share a significant change in our business with the introduction of NinjaTrader Brokerage. To understand our motivation for this change, it is important to reflect back to 2003 when I found myself expecting more from my trading platform and, after a futile search for alternatives, decided to build my own.Quick market acceptance of NinjaTrader version 1 validated my belief that there was universal demand for such a platform. Similar to many success stories, the introduction of NinjaTrader served as the stimulus for change across the industry.”
“Our goal with NinjaTrader Brokerage is to address unfulfilled traders’ expectations by disrupting the traditional ways brokerage is currently conducted and bringing it into the 21st century by eliminating the over complicated and confusing pricing models and hidden fees that have become the industry norm. Through the introduction of an All-In commission structure, we will simplify pricing through clarity and transparency. Making substantial investments in our technology platform that will prepare us to deliver a seamless trading experience that reflects today’s mobile lifestyle, whether it is through the desktop or in the cloud.”
On this basis, NinjaTrader had been able to offer full brokerage facilities by acquiring Mirus Futures, building its business further from its origins as a technology provider. In June this year, Mr. Wickersheimer had stated that the firm was able to offer trading terms of $3.38 per round turn all inclusive.
Indeed, membership of the NFA demonstrates that the firm is well capitalized, as net capital adequacy requirement is a matter upon which the NFA keeps a very strict watch, with $20 million required to be lodged with the NFA, and dipping into it for operational purposes strictly forbidden.
A highly bureaucratic process, many firms have taken u-turns in considering NFA membership. One example is Livevol Securities which reapplied for NFA membership in July 2014, following an earlier request from April 2014 to get a regulatory nod for an introducing broker status. The application was resumed several years after Livevol Securities made exactly the opposite move: in the autumn of 2010 the broker had given up on its pursuit to acquire an IB status by the NFA as well as stand alone NFA membership.
As far as customer protection is concerned, this offers an almost watertight guarantee against almost all circumstances, and proves that there is still hope for smaller FX companies who wish to do battle with the vast conglomerates of North America who continue to gain increasing market share by acquiring their peers.
Onwards and upwards……..