Global Electronic Trading Company (GETCO)

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Global Electronic Trading Company (GETCO)
Founded 1999
Headquarters Chicago
Key People Daniel Coleman, CEO
Employees 300-plus
Products Proprietary Trading, Making Markets

GETCO is a privately-held, electronic trading firm founded in 1999 by former floor traders Stephen Schuler and Dan Tierney. The firm is a proprietary trading firm, registered market maker on a number of different equity, fixed income, foreign exchange and commodities markets, owner of an Alternative Trading System called GETCO Execution Services, which operates a dark pool that was registered in February 2008.[1]

The company acquired Knight Capital Group Inc. for $1.4 billion in 2013 and renamed the merged entity KCG Holdings. The name of GETCO was retired and the new company is headquartered in Jersey City, N.J. [2]

GETCO was previously headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York, London, and Singapore. The company closed its Hong Kong office in March of 2013 due to Hong Kong's slow adoption of high frequency trading. Also in March 2013, GETCO received regulatory approval to start operations in Mumbai, India, becoming the first western trading firm to tap into the country’s fast-growing electronic derivatives markets.[3][4] It uses automated algorithms to trade a variety of asset classes on more than 50 the world's major electronic exchanges and alternative trading systems (ATSs).[5] [6] In addition to actively trading, GETCO has partnered with many exchanges and their regulators with the goal of increasing transparency throughout the industry and to create more efficient means for the transference of financial risk.[7] The firm has ownership stakes in Chi-X, BATS, Eris Exchange, ELX and NYSE Liffe U.S.

GETCO is a member of the Principal Traders Group, an affiliate of the Futures Industry Association.[8]


In 2012, GETCO issued a takeover proposal to Knight Capital Group Inc. GETCO’s cash and stock bid valued Knight at $3.50 a share and retained its public listing, according to a filing from the firm.[9]

In February of 2012, GETCO disclosed full-year financial records dating back to 2007, which showed that profitability peaked at $430.4m in 2008 and has steadily declined in each year subsequently.[10] GETCO's profits for the first nine months of 2012 dropped 82%.

GETCO was founded in 1999 as Global Electronic Trading Company, at a time that electronic trading was in its infancy.[11]

GETCO partnered with other entities to launch The Electronic Liquidity Exchange, or ELX, which had been on track for approval by the CFTC in February, but was taken off the "fast track," giving the CFTC until May 27 to review the proposal.[12]

GETCO, on June 25, 2010, launched a type of "dark pool" share trading platform in Europe.

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