Martin Franchi, CEO of NinjaTrader Group, sees its mission as “bringing futures trading to a more mainstream place.” With the rise of the retail trader, NinjaTrader – which historically has been a downloadable application – saw the customer experience becoming far more important, Franchi said.
As the demographics changed to skew younger and “mobile-first,” NinjaTrader became interested in the cloud infrastructure, mobile and web technologies of Tradovate Holdings. It acquired Tradovate in January 2022. “We’ve known the folks at Tradovate for a long time, and culturally, it’s a really good fit,” Franchi said. “So we’ve spent the last several months working very hard to integrate the businesses.”
He joined John Lothian News at FIA Boca 2022 to discuss how NinjaTrader plans to integrate Tradovate’s cloud-based technology to become the No. 1 provider in the retail space.
Although the active, professional trader, and the recreational and casual trader have slightly different needs, what they all need most is an experience that is simple, elegant and low cost as they move through every phase and asset class, Franchi said.
NinjaTrader’s ultimate goal is to introduce a retail technology and broker service that’s interconnected with multiple interfaces for professional traders who need the power of the desktop, or casual traders who want to check markets on the phone.
NinjaTrader started out as a technology-only company connecting to different broker technologies. Eight years ago it decided to become a disruptor in the introducing broker space. As the company recognized the importance of the customer experience, it evolved to become an FCM (futures commission merchant). NinjaTrader Group purchased the futures commission merchant TransAct Futures on the last tick of the clock on December 31, 2020.
“While we … had really great relationships with our FCM partners and supply chain, where we were going we needed to kind of control that whole experience,” Franchi said. “We went from a technology only [firm], to introducing broker, to FCM and then with the Tradovate acquisition, [to] cloud infrastructure and web and mobile.”
So, what’s next for NinjaTrader? Franchi sees NinjaTrader continuing to track product innovation at the exchange level, including crypto, micro-ization and nano-ization. ”With all these different models coming out … as all of these things come together, we want to be the number one provider to the retail community,” Franchi said.