Mike Unetich: The Path to Electronic Trading

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

Mike Unetich always liked trading and investing classes in college and in fact started trading options from his dorm room. He saw newspaper ads for option floor clerks and through some friends who worked at Spear, Leeds & Kellogg in New York was referred to DRW in Chicago, where he was hired.

He started in the Eurodollar pit, then at the age of 24 transferred to the 10-Year Note options pit at the Chicago Board of Trade. He would also trade on the CBOE for DRW before breaking off for himself and trading Eurodollars. 

After a demonstration of a handheld device to trade Eurodollars from the trading pit by fellow trader Pat Lynch, Unetich signed up the next day. Volumes in the front end of Eurodollars quickly moved to the screen. He started to automate his trading and his volumes grew.

Unetich learned a very valuable lesson about risk on the day his wife went into labor with their child and Unetich delivered their son in the parking lot of the hospital because he had been delayed slightly to deal with a margin call. 

He recruited his cousin, Rick Lane (now CEO of Trading Technologies) to clerk for him. They built some tools to trade automatically, then decided to turn it into a commercial product. They had some success marketing the product at the FIA Expo, but there was FCM resistance to supporting another platform and difficulty accessing the ICE markets.

A deal with Trading Technologies took care of those issues and they closed the sale of Ticket Trading to TT in 2010. Today, Ticket is called ADL and is the most popular automated trading service TT offers. 

 

Produced by Mike Forrester

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