Proprietary trading firms are usually limited partnerships that put their own capital to work in the markets, rather than the capital of their clients. Some of these firms also function as market makers, or liquidity providers to the capital markets. Prop trading firms are different than hedge funds, which generate returns based on their fund size and benchmark performance. In terms of compensation, prop trading firms often pay a base salary and a very lucrative performance bonus. Turnover, however, is rather high at these firms, since these firms do not often tolerate shoddy performance. In addition, newer firms often require a contribution of capital from traders who wish to join, from about $10-20,000. In return, these firms often offer substantial leverage and training. Many times, the training is well worth the experience if it is given for free. Aspiring traders though need to be wary of firms that charge excessively for training.
For those interested in prop trading, here are the best:
Advantage Futures – Advantage is a clearing member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade, The London Clearing House, The Clearing Corporation as well as a non-clearing member of Eurex and Eurex-US.
Allston Trading – Allston Trading, LLC, is a premier market maker in worldwide financial exchanges. We trade hundreds of different stocks, bonds, futures, options and other financial instruments in over 30 exchanges.
Archelon Group – Archelon LLC is an options market maker and proprietary trader of exchange listed options, futures and equities in the US, Europe, and Korea.
Assent – Assent is a national equities trading firm that currently serves hundreds of traders across the country.
Avatar Trading – Trading services for individual traders and large trading groups.
BOSS Trading – A Chicago-based proprietary trading group with a strong background in intermarket relationships and spreads, from both a fundamental and technical standpoint. Primarily focusing on European market hours, BOSS Trading has over 7 years experience in trading electronic debt, equity, and commodity futures.
Bear Capital Partners – Established in 2004 by a young team of industrious trading professionals, Bear Capital Partners has quickly evolved within the financial world; developing recognition as an incomparable, resilient force among Wall Street’s most elite organizations.
Belvedere Trading – Belvedere Trading is a proprietary trading firm specializing in equity index options.
Blue Capital Group – Blue Capital Group is a privately held futures and options trading firm based in Deerfield, Illinois.
Breakwater Trading – Breakwater is an agile, focused, proactive organization that strives to integrate technology with intelligence and market vision.
Bright Trading – Bright Trading, LLC is a professional, proprietary stock trading firm. We have hundreds of independent traders who trade from dozens of locations throughout the United States. In addition, our “Bright-At-Home” traders enjoy the benefits of proprietary trading from the comfort of their homes.
Broad Street Trading – Broad Street Trading is a private equity trading firm formed to manage and trade it’s own funds.
Capstone – Trades, equities, commodities, fixed income and money markets around the world. Offices in London, New York and Chicago.
Chicago Trading Company – Chicago Trading Company (CTC) is a proprietary market making firm and is recognized internationally as a leading provider of pricing and liquidity on all U.S. derivatives exchanges.
DRW Trading Group – The DRW Trading Group is an aggressive, dedicated organization engaged in many different aspects of the trading industry, including market making and proprietary trading. Offices in Chicago, New York and London.
DV Trading – DV Trading is a proprietary trading firm that executes on all major North American and European futures exchanges in a variety of asset classes.
Dimension Brokerage – Dimension Brokerage, LLC is a full service trading firm specializing in providing trading services to professional traders.
EchoTrade – ECHOtrade is a professional trading firm dedicated to the needs of the serious, off-floor trader.
Eldorado Trading – Eldorado Trading, LLC, is a proprietary trading firm that capitalizes on global fixed income markets— CME Eurodollars, CBOT Treasuries, LIFFE Euribor—by being the leading innovator of the electronic trading world. The founders of Eldorado have been trading electronically since the inception of screen trading in the early 1990s, giving the company an edge as transactions migrate from open outcry in the trading pits to electronic trading on the screens.
First New York Securities – Premier principal trading firm with over 200 employees in NY and London. Phenomenal training program (18-24 months). Looks for highly motivated applicants.
Fusionary Trading – Fusionary uses a synthesis of the wisdom of the ages and time-tested tools to help you make more money in less time.
Futex Trading – Futex was set up by traders who had been open-outcry trading on the LIFFE floor since 1990. In 1998 when the LIFFE floor was migrating onto computer screens Futex traders were one of the first to establish a professional computer based trading floor.
GETCO – GETCO is a privately-held, electronic trading firm dedicated to enhancing liquidity and efficiency in the world’s financial markets.
Gelber Group – Gelber is a unique service provider for the individual professional trader, professional trading group, or institution. We have an unwavering focus on technology management and service, as we seek to expand our access to liquid electronic markets around the world. Gelber Group maintains the philosophy that clear communication and interaction bring successful trading results.
Genesis Securities – Genesis provides a fully customizable, state of the art DMA platform Laser for the sophisticated trader.
Geneva Trading – Geneva Trading is a proprietary electronic trading firm located in Chicago, Illinois USA and Dublin, Ireland. Focus is on electronically traded futures and equity markets in the USA and Europe.
IMC Financial Markets – The IMC Group is a global financial organization with a presence in Amsterdam, London, New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Zug.
Infinium Capital Management – Infinium Capital Management is a proprietary capital management firm with offices in Chicago and New York. Founded in Chicago in 2001, our firm was built by a core team with decades of experience in trading, software development, and financial modeling. The founders share entrepreneurial pasts, having built and sold a variety of companies and technologies both in and out of the financial markets.
Intelligent Market Trading Company – The Intelligent Market Trading Company is a Chicago-based proprietary trading company with the core focus of applying cutting edge technology, and trading techniques to the problem of floor traded and electronically traded derivative securities.
Jane Street Capital – Jane Street is a quantitative proprietary trading firm that brings a deep understanding of markets, a scientific approach, and innovative technology together to trade profitably in financial markets. Jane Street doesn’t seek outside investment and doesn’t have customers. Founded in 2000, Jane Street is 190 committed people in New York, Chicago, London, and Tokyo.
Jump Trading – Jump Trading, LLC is a proprietary trading firm, focused on trading index futures, options, and equities. Because we are not a brokerage firm, we do not have clients. Revenues come solely from trading Jump’s proprietary account.Jump Trading is a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). Jump is also a non-clearing member of the European Exchange (Eurex).
Kershner Trading Group – Since 1993, Kershner Trading has been built on the idea of shared success. We are a classic proprietary trading business providing full service, support and capital to our traders, including state-of-the-art proprietary technology applications with direct access to US markets. Our traders currently trade in our Austin, Tx office, however we are always interested in hearing from groups of successful traders in other locations. Member NASD, SEC registered.
Kingstree Trading – Chicago prop trading firm that at one time reputedly did one third of the volume in the e-mini S&P.
Lion Pride Trading – Lion Pride Trading is a global private equities, options and futures trading firm that empowers its traders with significant trading equity, lightning-fast execution software, and unparalleled access to international markets and exchanges and also provides timely worldwide news and information.
Liquid Trading – Specializes in high frequency, quant traders. Based in Europe.
Marex Trading – MAREX Financial is an Independent Broker Dealer offering worldwide coverage of Commodities, Financial Futures and Options and FX Markets.
Marquette Partners – Marquette Partners is a leading liquidity provider to the world’s largest derivatives exchanges. As an early pioneer in electronic futures trading, Marquette has successfully developed individuals to trade on exchanges throughout the globe, including the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Trade, Eurex, Euronext-Paris, Euronext-LIFFE and Borsa Italia.
Nico Trading – Nico Holdings LLC is a proprietary trading firm. We make markets and take positions 24 hours a day. We are active in exchange-traded and over-the-counter markets, including spot and derivative contracts.
Optiver – Optiver is an international proprietary trading house dealing mainly in derivatives, shares and bonds. The firm has expanded from a few Amsterdam based market makers to a global arbitrage group with subsidiaries in Chicago and Sydney.
Peak6 Trading – One of the largest equity options market-making firms in the U.S.
Refco Trading Services – Based on REFCO’s acquisition of MAC Trading Services, LLC a London based electronic trading company; REFCO Trading Services was established, which has commenced operations in North America. Now part of the Man Financial Refco Division.
Reverb Capital – Reverb Capital is making itself heard from the epicenter of Chicago’s Financial District. Focused on “high frequency” trading in the equities, futures and options markets, Reverb is a proprietary trading firm that beats to a different drum.
Ronin Capital – Proprietary trading operations covering a variety of markets including equity securities, government bonds, corporate bonds, and related derivatives on global exchanges and electronically.
SKTY Trading – SKTY Trading was founded in 2002 as a market making firm in EuroDollar options on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Since inception, SKTY has expanded its focus to include multiple products on several exchanges.
SMB Capital – SMB Capital, LLC is a privately owned investment partnership engaged in day trading NYSE and NASDAQ equities.
Schonfeld Group – Schonfeld Securities, LLC pioneered the short term trading industry when it began operations in 1988. It is one of the largest U.S. proprietary equity trading firms in terms of number of traders and volume traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ.
Simplex Investments – Chicago based off-floor proprietary trading firm focused on the active trader.
Spot Trading – Spot Trading is an off-floor trading firm specializing in equity options.
Susquehanna International Group – Based in Philadelphia and focused on market making, proprietary trading, private equity. Looks for entrepreneurial traders with experience.
The Archelon Group – Archelon LLC is an options market maker and proprietary trader of exchange listed options, futures and equities in the US, Europe, and Korea.
Tibra Capital – A global prop firm specialising in market making and arbitrage.
Title Trading – Title Trading is privately owned proprietary trading firm. Title traders trade the firm’s capital on several US stock markets: NYSE, NASDAQ and AMEX.
Tower Hill Trading – Tower Hill Trading is a leading proprietary trading firm based in downtown Chicago. We offer a superior working environment, the opportunity to learn from the best, state of the art technology, extremely competitive payouts and access to substantial trading capital.
Trade Vision Capital – Trade Vision Capital provides its customers with the highest end order entry software available. It is the only software to receive the NASD’s platinum certification.
Transmarket Group – TransMarket Group LLC is a global private trading and investment company. Provide risk capital and market access to individuals for the purpose of trading the global financial markets. Employees trade all global exchange listed derivatives, equities, commodities and selected cash markets.
Vankar Trading – Professional management of trading systems. Divisions in North America, Europe, and Australia.
WH Trading – WH Trading LLC is a proprietary futures, options and equities trading firm headquartered in Chicago, IL. Founded in 1994, WH Trading currently serves as a primary liquidity provider on the floor of the major Chicago futures exchanges and also as an exchange designated Lead Market Maker for electronically traded products in a variety of asset classes.
Wasserman Capital – At Wasserman Capital our passion is trading and training others how to trade. Wasserman Capital has a proven apprenticeship program that leverages the same historically proven methods that successful traders have been using for over 100 years. Our training program provides the trading expertise and hands-on coaching necessary to help turn your passion for the financial markets into your career.
Wolverine Trading – Wolverine is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and London.
World Trade Securities – WTS Proprietary Trading Group LLC, is a privately owned proprietary trading firm based in NYC, New York and a member of the CBSX and is SEC registered.
Xerxes Trading – Xerxes Trading represents the Morristown, NJ Office of Hold Brothers Online Investment Services, LLC (member FINRA-SIPC).
Zmarc Partners – Specializes in electronic futures and commodity trading with all major international trading exchanges.
RANKINGS: Jane Street, DRW, SIG, Optiver, Spot, Transmarket, Wolverine, Peak6, Jump Trading, First New York.
Here is a comprehensive list of firms in the U.S.:
THE RISK OF LOSS IN ELECTRONIC DAY TRADING CAN BE SUBSTANTIAL. WE THEREFORE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU CAREFULLY CONSIDER WHETHER SUCH TRADING IS SUITABLE FOR YOU IN LIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES AND YOUR FINANCIAL RESOURCES.