Jonas Hansbo and his team left Orc in 2006 to focus on his own brand of trading and financial technology with a startup called TBricks. But Hansbo and his colleagues were brought back to the mothership in January when when Orc purchased TBricks.
Now, Hansbo, who serves as chief strategy officer for Orc, said the two firms will bring their respective strengths together.
“Orc has been evolving since we left it, and very much focused on reinventing their electronic trading platform for connectivity and electronic execution,” Hansbo said. “So what we thought would be a very interesting fit for the two companies was to make a combination of our offer in trading together with Orc’s global reach.”
Hansbo said it was a good fit with the original roots of Orc, which was founded by Nils Nilsson, an index trader, who eventually changed the business into a trading software firm. In fact, Nilsson backed TBricks when Hansbo wanted to start his own firm.
“His goal was to innovate,” Hansbo said of Nilsson. “We had the same vision as he had. What we wanted was to build a very good platform for trading. And one of the requirements in trading is that the markets are changing rapidly, so we thought we would build something very modular. That was what TBricks was all about and what we’re bringing back to Orc.”
Hansbo said because of its flexible architecture and Orc’s global reach, “it will be very easy to add new applications on top of the platform.”
That’s always been the goal, he said, to create an Apple or Android-type of platform that allows users to pick the apps they want, plug them into the system and go.
“When we did this back in 2006, we called these apps, “plug-ins,'” he said. “Now we switched because of a guy called Steve Jobs who had the same kind of concept. It really was, from day one, our vision of how that software would work.”
Hansbo said the financial technology space will continue to change rapidly. TBricks said the main challenge for ISVs today is to change up software quickly so it works on the latest hardware. One way it has been able to do so more cheaply is to utilize large cloud-based services such as Amazon and others.
“I think for ISVs, one of the challenges they have is, how do we take advantage of new hardware technology,” he said. “And that’s not easy to do.”
Hansbo said there will likely be more consolidation among ISVs, as the marketplace continues to evolve but added there will always “be demand for ISV technology.”
“We can provide things in a much more cost efficient way if the technology is right” he said. “There can even be a solution for in-house, as a replacement for certain pieces.”