European High-Frequency Trading Firms Raking in the Dough

As reported by Tim Cave of eFinancialNews, average revenues across Europe’s largest high-frequency trading firms jumped by nearly a fifth last year, according to research by Financial News, as the controversial practice approaches a crucial phase that will determine how it is governed by European regulators.

In a sign of the firms’ ability to generate above-average profits, the research showed average revenues per employee were $2.7m in 2010. The same ratio would give Goldman Sachs annual revenues of about $96bn, compared with its actual revenues of $39bn last year.

Dutch-based trading house Optiver topped the league table with revenues up 36% to $501m in 2010, but rivals IMC, Getco Europe, Citadel Securities Europe and Knight Capital Europe, all earned hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues as market volumes picked up in the wake of the financial crisis.

HFT Revenues Rise by a Fifth

The average revenue for Europe’s seven largest high-frequency trading firms jumped 18% to $208m last year compared with 2009.

All of the firms researched are members of the European Principal Traders Association, part of the Futures Industry Association, which was set up earlier this year to represent the interests of high-frequency trading firms.

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