Interactive Brokers Group serves investors who interact with world markets. It performs trade order management, execution, and portfolio management services through its Interactive Brokers subsidiaries and electronic market-maker Timber Hill. The group provides access to about 100 electronic exchanges and trading centers worldwide, executing nearly one million trades per day in stocks, options, futures, foreign exchange instruments, bonds, and mutual funds. It caters to institutional and experienced individual investors. The company also licenses its trading interface to large banks and brokerages through white-label agreements. Founder, chairman, and CEO Thomas Peterffy controls Interactive Brokers Group.
Interactive Brokers Group has invested in or helped to form several stock exchanges and trading platforms, including the CBOE Stock Exchange (founded by the CBOE Holdings in 2007), the OneChicago single-stock futures exchange, and the Boston Options Exchange (established by Interactive Brokers, Bourse de Montréal, and the Boston Stock Exchange).
Over the years, the company has also entered new markets abroad, though it has since curtailed its international expansion. It has offices in the US, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Switzerland, and the UK.
Interactive Brokers Group experienced a downturn in trading volumes and, in turn, revenues during the recession, and recorded a nearly $10 million loss for 2010. However, the company rebounded in 2011 along with the broader markets, as revenues topped $1.4 billion (compared to about $988 million the prior year) and net income approached $62 million.
Interactive Brokers Group also reported a 20% increase in its client base during 2011. It had some 190,000 customer accounts at year end, and that figure has risen since then. The company attributes its automated systems and word-of-mouth for the increase.
Interactive Brokers Group is dedicated to developing its proprietary technologies to stay competitive and weather market fluctuations. It hopes to attract retail investors by offering low commission rates. The company has also introduced new products and services such as hedge fund investing and the Interactive Brokers Information Service, which provides customizable real-time market data. – less