Kevin Darby started his career as a college kid on the CBOE trading floor and bridged the open outcry and electronic trading eras by using his knowledge of the trading floor processes and trading, his mathematical skills and his programming skills. That was his path to electronic trading.
Darby started on the floor with a then new trading group with the help of a recommendation from his aunt, Lyn Lang, who worked at Solomon Brothers. He was hired despite a bad interview. He later quit college to become a programmer with Blue Capital Group, where he continued his floor experience by being an intern while going to school. He would give up a job as a night janitor to become a full-time programmer with BCG.
He moved to North Carolina and built mostly floor-centric technology, including giving traders a screen that would update their numbers on tablets.
He became a partner at BCG on the basis of his work on an electronic eye that became very profitable when the CBOE moved the RAES order book into the electronic book.
After the financial crisis, the world changed, and the partners decided to shut down the group. Kevin and some others bought the technology the firm built to start Blue Trading Systems, marketing their offering to small trading groups that did not have their own systems.
After first working in options, BTS pivoted to developing futures executive strategies to help turn what they formerly viewed as a cost center (hedging options positions) into a profit center.
Eventually, the group decided to sell to CQG and Darby went with the software.
Here is Kevin Darby’s path to electronic trading story.