Interactive Brokers Platform for Institutional Traders

Discussion in 'Trading Software' started by CPTrader, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. IB has an incredibly broad product offering - virtually every major global stock or futures exchange is covered on one platform. IB's exchnage connectivity is just incredible.

    yet, not a single day passes without complaints about platform bugs or customer service on this and other forums.

    So my question, is IB used only by retail traders? Are there any hedge funds, instiutional traders, prop houses that actively use the IB platform? If so, do they get a different special platform Do they get special customer service?

    I can't imagne institutional traders/funds making do with IB's legendary atrocious customer service and buggy platform, but I also would think the platform's broad connectivity must also be very attractive to them.

    So what is the actual situation?

    Any fund traders who use IB, care to share your experiences?
  2. I know some CTAs/CPOs use IB.
  3. cstfx


    If there are any institutions using IB they are probably using their own front end via FIX and/or their prime services. And yes they have different CS/dedicated rep if they have problems.
  4. Any recommendations for good front ends for IB?

  5. moarla


    i use ZeroLineTrader and i am realy happy with that tool.
  6. cstfx


    For currencies and futures thru their API, I am a big fan of NinjaTrader. For equities, that's a sticky issue as you can't use the unbundled commission rate unless you use the Smart Routing execution system otherwise you have to use the bundled rate. If you are one who directs your trades to specific ECNs or exchanges, using a front end thru their API is a no starter IMO.

    As to FIX f.e., there are a few you could license to connect with IB FIX gateway and I believe that the aforementioned bundled/unbundled issue is moot. Newedge has one or two platforms they license, just to name a source. Unless you are doing serious volume as a group, going this route is usually not the best way as the associated costs of the data line(s) and the software costs may out-way any savings using the API.

    That being said, I have been working on something in my spare time to use with their FIX gateway because I like IB and can't stand going thru the TWS, even if it sits out of the way on a server.

    sidenote: back in 2007, IB purchased the assets and technology of FutureTrade, and execution/software broker for hedges and HNI and were supposed to incorporate features of this platform into their own. Nothing was eveer heard about it since, so maybe that platform is available to institutionals/hedges/HNI to use instead of the TWS.
  7. Thanks for the insights cstfx. I wish you profitable Trading!