Posted on April, 26, 2017

Written by Taylan , Technology R&D, Amsterdam

Posted in Trading


IMC is a technology-driven trading firm, developing innovative technology and employing advanced trading strategies to make markets on more than 100 of the world’s best-regulated trading venues. Although we’re a trading company at heart, we’re driven by technology. It’s a phrase we use a lot here at IMC, but what does it actually mean in a world that’s shifting towards automation? To answer that question, we have to look to the early part of this century.

Financial exchanges around the world have gone through tremendous change in the last 10-15 years. Many open outcry exchanges have turned into digital platforms, and the best prices are now discovered using computer algorithms rather than humans. This has helped create a tighter spread, which means cheaper operations and reduced cost for the financial world. It also has an impact on you and me, as the savings made affect our pension funds, mortgages and personal debt.

This relatively quick transition required a lot of computing innovations, both in the networking world and the raw data processing pipeline. The pricing and trading of instruments became a lot easier, but very different as well. Being fast and first became so important that many trading firms had to become technology firms as well.

Right now, this trend is stabilizing as we approach the physical limits of traditional computing platforms. And as the technology becomes mainstream and available to all parties, we’re seeing a more homogenous trading environment emerge. 

Until the next big innovation in computing.

The past few years have seen innovation after innovation in fast algorithms, but the months and years to come will be dominated by smart algorithms.

With this in mind, it’s not a coincidence that our first Machine Learning Meetup took place recently in Amsterdam. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning play a critical role in our plans for the future. It’s an immensely exciting, rapidly evolving area, and IMC is investing in people and algorithms to remain at its forefront. 

It’s a point that’s proven both by our hosting of the event and the second speaker of the evening – recent IMC hire, Edwin de Jong. A week into his IMC career, but an expert in his field, Edwin’s talk centred around his own research in Incremental Sequence Learning which he had previously presented at the NIPS CLDN workshop.

With his commitment to bringing deep learning to industry, Edwin is a great example of the power of collaboration – between researchers and academics, and companies and practitioners. At IMC, the value we place on our relationship with the machine learning community can’t be overstated. So while the Amsterdam machine learning meetup may have been the first, it certainly won’t be the last.