The firm then known as Dash Financial had a clean slate, technologically speaking, when it started out in 2011 as a neutral agency brokerage. Co-founded by CEO Peter Maragos and chief creative officer David Karat, Dash developed high-performance execution and analytics systems attuned to the complexities of institutional options trading, notably the Dash360 transparency dashboard with advanced data visualization capabilities. By early 2017, 6.5 percent of daily U.S. options volume was flowing through Dash, alongside a growing equities execution business.
Then came a game changer: On March 1, 2017, New York–based Dash merged with LiquidPoint, an options trading and technology business that had been part of Convergex. Dash’s options market share doubled overnight and has since risen another point, to 14 percent, says Maragos. There was little business overlap between Dash and LiquidPoint. The latter, whose systems route an additional 20 percent of options volume, brought 90 people into what has been rebranded as Dash Financial Technologies, bringing the head count to 135.
Maragos, 41, says the firm is constantly working to improve its platform and capitalize on a broader product set that includes LiquidPoint floor-broker products and regulatory compliance technologies. “This is definitely a scale business,” he adds. He says Dash is rolling out a new alternative trading system, will soon enhance its smart-order routing with machine learning technology that came out of the firm’s research and development, and is exploring augmented reality to bring new dimensions to trader user interfaces.
According to a March 7 announcement, co-founders Maragos and Karat partnered with private equity firm Flexpoint Ford to acquire Dash from majority owner GTCR.
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