Institutional trading enables strong growth for Optiver
Optiver: Best Overall ETF Liquidity Provider/Market Maker – Over the last few years, Optiver has significantly improved and expanded its ETF pricing, risk warehousing and coverage, says Jean-Marie Tine, Head of Institutional Trading Delta 1 at the firm. With a 35-year history in derivatives market making, Optiver started its ETF business nearly 10 years ago by providing liquidity on-exchange in a small range of liquid ETFs. In 2016 the proprietary trading firm decided to use its expertise to build a strong base to become one of Europe’s leading ETF liquidity providers.
“We are a market maker – it’s at the core of everything we do,” says Tine, “our existing tech infrastructure allowed us to lay the ground work in ETFs and now we really have capacity to improve and price a variety of products including ESG and an expansion into fixed income ETFs”. The firm is seeing a month on month increase in equity ETF market share in Europe both on-screen and OTC.
Automation has formed the foundation of Optiver’s strategy and allows them to tighten spreads across the board in a fragmented ETF landscape. “Our ability to grow our RFQ and screen liquidity provision is built around strong technology and pricing capability, especially within an ETF environment that is constantly evolving,” Tine says.
2020 was a year of great volatility and the effects of the pandemic, lockdown and working from home impacted all aspects of the ETF industry. “We’ve done a lot of hard work over the years to become a reliable counterparty in all market conditions,” Tine says. “It is particularly rewarding to be acknowledged by the industry this year, as we were able to prove Optiver’s ability to provide liquidity when the market needed it most.” Optiver’s solid performance continued through the turbulence caused by the US elections at the end of 2020 and the breaking news around the first vaccines to control the coronavirus.
Optiver now trades with more than 400 counterparties using their expertise in pricing and automation to provide competitive prices and improve execution. New themes that have proved very strong in the European ETF industry include ESG and Tine confirms that Optiver is committed to facilitating the transition to sustainable finance, whether that be through ESG, SRI or Low Carbon initiatives.
The firm has expanded its product range to include various new asset classes. “Optiver combines a strong on-exchange trading infrastructure with OTC trading abilities,” Tine says. “Going forward, we plan to leverage our infrastructure and extensive DCP network to expand into cash equity liquidity provision and fixed income ETFs.”
Tine says that the team is pleased by the industry recognition: “It’s an honour to receive the award for Best Overall Market-Maker again as we aim to proactively improve and stimulate growth in the industry. There are some difficult products where we are the only market-maker on the exchange. When an issuer has a client that wants to buy a specific product, we are always there to provide liquidity.” n
Head of Institutional Trading Delta 1 Europe
Jean-Marie Tine is a D1 Institutional Trader at Optiver, focused on the French speaking region. He heads up the firm’s D1 Institutional Trading team. He has extensive experience in Institutional Trading, and was managing the ETF Sales Trading team at Société Générale before joining Optiver in 2017. With more than 10 years of experience in Finance in London, Paris and Amsterdam he has built a strong and wide network that he managed to leverage within Optiver. His strong team have allowed for a four-fold increase in Optiver’s direct counterparties over the past 4 years. Jean-Marie Tine holds a Master’s degree in Finance from La Sorbonne in Paris.