Timber Hill - WSJ Article

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Hurricane, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. For those interested, Timber Hill (a unit of Interactive Brokers) is mentioned in a Wall Street Journal article today. It's on page C11 and titled, "Timber Hill Deals Blow to Amex In Plan to End Specialist Activity". They are closing their specialist operations at AMEX to focus their efforts on other exchanges.
  2. From the NY POST
    November 25, 2003 -- Options trading heavyweight Timber Hill blasted the American Stock Exchange yesterday - and announced it will no longer trade there.

    The move was another big blow to the struggling exchange, whose members have seen the value of their seats fall precipitously in recent years.

    Timber Hill, based in Greenwich, Conn., said it was shuttering its Amex specialist operations because it was dissatisfied with the exchange's poor technology and outdated floor trading system.

    While the Amex is well aware that its trading system "is doomed in the long run, it is nevertheless trying to postpone the inevitable and make as much profit in the interim as possible," said Thomas Peterffy, chairman and founder of Interactive Brokers, Timber Hill's parent company.

    Timber Hill, among the pioneers of electronic trading, will lay off nine traders and give up its specialist role on five Amex options, company officials confirmed.

    While Timber Hill doesn't handle a huge number of Amex trades, its standing on Wall Street and its long tenure on the exchange made its move significant.

    "It's pretty damning," said one Amex specialist who asked not to be named. "That's saying, 'You gave me a business and I don't think it's worth staying here.' "

    In taking its business elsewhere, Timber Hill will trade on exchanges that are direct competitors to the Amex, the nation's third-largest options exchange, traders said.

    "We're sad to see them go," said Amex spokeswoman Mary Cheung. "Our technology improvements are moving on schedule."

    Peterffy criticized the so-called open-outcry system - the same used on the New York Stock Exchange - as being outdated and rife with conflicts.

    "The U.S. exchanges are way behind the rest of the developed countries [in developing electronic trading systems], and the Amex appears to be behind the other U.S. exchanges," he said. "This is not because they are incapable; it is purposeful," he said.