Today is a fantastic and exciting day for CBOE Holdings and Livevol, Inc., but more importantly for the sophisticated investor community who trade equity and index options. As you may know, the CBOE announced today that its acquisition of the market data services and trading analytics platforms of Livevol, Inc. has officially closed. Livevol is the leader and industry authority on equity and index options technology and market data services, which are widely used by both institutional and retail traders. This highlights CBOE’s ongoing goal to Create, Collaborate and Connect with the vast marketplace of equity and index participants. While the technology is impressive, the team of people who design and develop the technology are even more impressive. The team will be distributed across 3 CBOE offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco (the current headquarters of Livevol) and will be directly responsible for the Livevol product set.
The various Livevol platforms that CBOE has acquired will allow investors more access to critical data, tools and analytics they need to navigate a complex and ever-changing global environment as it pertains to portfolio management and research. In today’s increasingly electronic marketplace, the amount of data generation is staggering and at most times it is very cumbersome to handle and sort through. Livevol has solved this problem by providing a flexible and robust product set that allows investors to use the vast amount of information to their advantage. A petabyte of market data is only good if you can extract value from it, right?!
Enter the Livevol suite of products: Livevol Core, Livevol Pro, Livevol X and Livevol Enterprise. These four main products are engineered to be flexible, but are also uniquely tailored to specific functions. I have tried to highlight each product below as it pertains to uses and capabilities.
This product laid the ground work in the equity and index options analytics industry. The product is an extremely powerful web-based platform that accesses the Livevol data set and displays the data in a clean, real-time and concise way. The product allows users to target specific areas of interest in regards to volume, activity, trade types and specific underlyings all while clouding out the irrelevant information. With a Livevol Pro login you have access to real-time data, market scanners, queries and analytic tools on one screen. This product is extremely powerful, with one of the most powerful features being the patented 3D Skew Chart, which provides a 2 year replay of skew in a dynamic movie format.
This product is a derivative of the LV Pro platform (no pun intended) and provides a scaled down version of LV Pro at a lower cost. This web-based platform provides many of the features of its more robust cousin, which includes market scanners, sector views, alerts and historical volatility charts. This platform is a fantastic cost-effective choice for dissecting what the options market has to offer. With those tools, the ability to trade directly from Livevol Core is also an option if desired. This allows the user to go quickly and easily from idea conception to putting their ideas in motion.
Combine the fully robust tools and data analytics of LiveVol Pro and the trading capabilities of Livevol Core and you get Livevol X. This is a next generation execution platform that has been engineered to keep traders on the cutting edge in regards to low-latency execution, real-time risk monitoring and advanced routing capabilities. This platform, which is locally installed, allows the trader to glean market intelligence from the onboard data and analytics package, go quickly right into order entry and finally monitor risk after the execution. For years the industry has struggled to provide the best of both worlds of analytics and execution, but Livevol X has done just that.
Take the years of expertise, vast amounts of data, calculations and tools and plug it directly into your own system without the need for a physical platform. This is Livevol Enterprise and it is engineered to be the most advanced way to distribute the capabilities of Livevol through any medium. The backend of Livevol is now at your fingertips so feel free to receive custom data sets real-time, strategy scans, back testing tools and any bespoke request you need. Users can now create web-widgets, plug data into their black-box models dynamically and even create their own user interfaces that display Livevol data. This product opens new possibilities and allows users to consume and provide data on their own terms and format regardless of the technology they use. The need for big data in today’s financial marketplace is ever-increasing and the investment world is under pressure to make that data valuable. Now, with Livevol Enterprise, this need is easily managed and satisfied through the direct access to the data itself, which is a luxury that was previously not available.
In summary, I urge you to browse the Livevol website at www.livevol.com which provides an even more in-depth description of the products and features inside the product suite. CBOE is committed to growing the technology as a whole and also providing these products to even more users of equity and index options globally. The market data business at CBOE is a critical component and one that is growing in importance each year. We feel our clients and customers will be better served over the coming years as we leverage the synergies between the two companies to extend the Livevol technology to our CBOE products and services. For example, index products such as CBOE Volatility Index® (VIX® Index), S&P 500 Index (SPX), Russell 2000 Index (RUT) and MSCI Emerging Markets Index (MXEF) will be enhanced through analytics and tools provided by Livevol.
About the Author: Adam Kelly, Director of Business Development, is based in CBOE’s New York office and focuses primarily on account management and product strategy as it pertains to electronic trading technology. He is primarily responsible for strategic product management of CBOE’s next-generation trading platform called PULSe. Aside from that responsibility, he also serves in an account management capacity for several firms located in New York and also is heavily involved in activities around the evaluation and acquisition of financial technology such as Livevol. Prior to joining CBOE, Adam was VP of Trading at Direxion Investments, where he operated in a portfolio management and trading capacity. At Direxion, he assisted in the launch of their ETF business, management of their ETF portfolios and also was responsible for several mutual funds. Adam began his career at the International Securities Exchange and supported the exchange's operations in the market operations department.
Note: Livevol Securities, the companies broker-dealer unit, is not part of this transaction.