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Blue Trading System’s is a family of traders, technologists, innovators and committed professionals. The women and men that work here want to build something that not only meets demand but advances the industry. We are sharp, loyal and strategic.

Through 2018, we wanted to highlight the people behind the name. These are the ones applying their knowledge, dedicating their time and investing their money in Blue Trading Systems. We invite you to learn more about the people building our solutions.


Eric Harding
What is your name, title and responsibilities at Blue Trading Systems?
My name is Eric Harding and I’m one of the non-managing partners. Day to day I have my hands in a lot of different pots. I own the market data pipeline that receives data from the exchanges and I’m also heavily involved in the management of our User Interface.

How did you get into this field of derivatives trading? Trader or technologist?
I’m definitely a technologist. I’m originally from the east coast but was working at Microsoft in Washington state when my wife and I decided to move to Chapel Hill. I interviewed with the guys that were then Blue Capital and really liked the team and the problems they were solving, so we came over in 2010. BTS spun out of Blue Capital Group about six months later.

From your perspective, can you describe the relationship between BTS and its clients?
BTS has a very close relationship with it’s clients. In a larger company you end up being several levels removed from your customers. However, due to our size and our culture we work directly with Support and with our customers every day. We aren’t insulated so when our customers feel pain we feel it too. It has a major impact on how we prioritize our development.

How has BTS evolved since you started at the company?
Incrementally. There haven’t been any huge changes but we’re always evaluating how we operate, and tweaking things to improve our effectiveness and efficiency. This applies to things like engineering and project management as well as how we support our customers.

What are a few challenges the industry is currently facing?

With the slowing of increased CPU speed and Moore’s Law drawing to a close, the race for speed is going to get very interesting. Moving from easily mutable and inspectable software systems to more opaque hardware solutions like FPGA is going to come with some interesting challenges.

I also think that blockchains/cryptocurrencies are going to be a very interesting space to watch in the next few years. It’s almost a collision between the Silicon Valley way and the established way. Need to co-locate near GDAX? Sure, it’s in the cloud just spin up an AWS instance.


What is your favorite piece of advice regarding trading, technology, the markets, leadership?
It’s easy to find a complex solution to a problem but it’s usually worthwhile to keep looking until you find a solution that is simpler. Once you’ve found that it will feel obvious.

Octopus
Octopus

If you had to pick, what animal would you be and why?
Octopus. Who could say no to 6 more arms?

Blue Trading System’s is a family of traders, technologists, innovators and committed professionals. The women and men that work here want to build something that not only meets demand but advances the industry. We are sharp, loyal and strategic.

Through 2018, we wanted to highlight the people behind the name. These are the ones applying their knowledge, dedicating their time and investing their money in Blue Trading Systems. We invite you to learn more about the people building our solutions.


Sue Colvin
What is your name, title and responsibilities at Blue Trading Systems?
Sue C. Colvin, Office Manager: I am responsible for administrative duties and operational efficiencies. I make sure things run smoothly in the space we work. Finally, my staff reminded me that I try to make sure there are treats available in the office for everyone as well.

Cookies
Coconut Pecan Cookies
How did you get into this field of derivatives trading? Trader or technologist?
I was fortunate enough to have my son, Trevor Colvin, include me in this adventure. We don’t say we are a family company for nothing. From the technologists to the sales managers to our clients, we really care about each other.

From your perspective, can you describe the relationship between BTS and its clients?
From my experience, BTS makes clients a primary concern and customer service is of the highest importance. We take our customer’s challenges to heart and do everything in our power to help them meet their trading technology goals.

How has BTS evolved since you started at the company?
Each year I have seen growth in the company and the individuals developing their product. This is especially true for 2017 when we expanded from providing an options trading platform to helping traders in the futures space too. It was nice to see the team recognize a void in the market as well as how their strengths could meet that need.

What is your favorite piece of advice regarding trading, technology, the markets, leadership?
I feel that leadership is critical in motivating employees. My favorite piece of advice was issued by Phil Jackson, coach of the Chicago Bulls: Wisdom is always an overmatch for strength and good leadership should balance criticism with equal amounts of praise.

If you had to pick, what animal would you be and why?
I would be a dolphin. Their ability to have fun, and of course their intelligence. Dolphins seem so kind and sensitive and have the sweetest faces.

Blue Trading System’s is a family of traders, technologists, innovators and committed professionals. The women and men that work here want to build something that not only meets demand but advances the industry. We are sharp, loyal and strategic.

Through 2018, we wanted to highlight the people behind the name. These are the ones applying their knowledge, dedicating their time and investing their money in Blue Trading Systems. We invite you to learn more about the people building the solutions.


Jake Norbut
What is your name, title and responsibilities at Blue Trading Systems?
Jacob Norbut, Software Engineer these days, but as my partner Taha Afzal mentioned, we all wear many hats here at BTS. I’m currently working on various facets of our client GUI for our new futures platform, BTS Spark. Prior to my move to a more development-focused role, I trained and managed our operations staff, as well as was responsible for all client onboarding.

How did you get into this field of derivatives trading? Trader or technologist?
Technologist. Out of college I was working outside of the trading industry as an SAP consultant. I got a call from Kevin one day (we’ve been friends since the 7th grade and were college roommates) and he mentioned Blue Capital Group was about to deploy an electronic trading system and they needed an operations leader who could understand the trading system from top to bottom. I met with the team, and the rest as they say, is history.

From your perspective, can you describe the relationship between BTS and its clients?
From my days manning our support desk, I can tell you first-hand that we value each and every relationship. Whether it’s a call to help onboard a new trader in your organization, or you have a feature you’d like to see us incorporate in a future release, we’re eager to work with you.

How has BTS evolved since you started at the company?
We’ve really grown into a family over the years; there’s not a week that goes by where I haven’t interacted with every single member.

What is your favorite piece of advice regarding trading, technology, the markets, leadership?
Regardless of where you are in your career path, continuing education should be a life-long endeavor; this is especially true in any technology-related field.

Mantis Shrimp
Mantis Shrimp
If you had to pick, what animal would you be and why?
A mantis shrimp since it has the most sophisticated eyes of any animal - humans only have 3 kinds of light receptors but mantis shrimp have around 10. Also, mantis shrimp have a mean punch.

Blue Trading System’s is a family of traders, technologists, innovators and committed professionals. The women and men that work here want to build something that not only meets demand but advances the industry. We are sharp, loyal and strategic.

As we enter 2018, we wanted to highlight the people behind the name. These are the ones applying their knowledge, dedicating their time and investing their money in Blue Trading Systems. Throughout this year we invite you to learn more about the people building the solutions.


Pedro Pinto
What is your name, title and responsibilities at Blue Trading Systems?
My name is Pedro Pinto, I am one of the founders of BTS. My main responsibility is to lead the Software Development group.

How did you get into this field of derivatives trading? Trader or technologist?
My grad school advisor was golfing partners with Trevor Colvin our CEO, back in 1999. At the time Trevor was looking to grow the technology team at Blue Capital Group and my advisor put us in touch. I knew nothing about finance but it was very clear after talking to Trevor that this was an exciting field, filled with intelligent people dealing with very challenging technical problems.

From your perspective, can you describe the relationship between BTS and its clients?
Given our roots as a trading firm we have a deep empathy with our customers. We understand that their livelihood is inextricably linked to the performance and sophistication of their trading systems. That consideration is one of the main drivers in our decision making. Our product design, development and testing efforts are all oriented towards building robust, high-performance high value software that maximizes our clients bottom line.

How has BTS evolved since you started at the company?
Our group started out as the technology arm of Blue Capital Group, a fairly successful options market maker. As we transitioned to working as a Software Vendor we went from sitting next to a single customer trading a very narrow set of instruments in a specific way, to serving the broader trading community. Navigating this transition was challenging, but ultimately extremely rewarding. We were able to develop new processes and new technology that allow us to quickly go from product concept to robust production code.

What are a few challenges the industry is currently facing?
One of the biggest challenges we see are increasingly prohibitive technology costs. Today it is almost impossible for all but the largest trading firms to develop competitive trading software in-house. We see ourselves as playing a small role in combating this consolidation pressure. Because building trading software is all we do, we have gotten good at it and we are able to provide the trading community with high-quality solutions at a fraction of what they would have cost to develop internally.

What is your favorite piece of advice regarding trading, technology, the markets, leadership?
Do sweat the details. That is where the devil is.

If you had to pick, what animal would you be and why?
Dolphins of course. The smartest animals on earth, all they do is muck about in the water having a good time.

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