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The Founders

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    In early 1996, Bill Porter and Marty Averbuch began exploring ways to decrease costs of execution in equity options for retail investors. Their experience with Roundtable Partners provided them with a successful business model. Roundtable was a consortium of broker/dealers created for the purpose of lowering trading costs for equity securities. In addition, since each of the broker/dealers involved in Roundtable did not have the critical mass to start their own trading operation, Roundtable became the vehicle, which shared the trading profits generated from the order flow of the consortium.

    In order for Porter and Averbuch to facilitate similar arrangements with equity options, they needed to negotiate directly with the existing options exchanges, since no third market existed for options. Due to the structure under which options exchanges then operated, they were unable to obtain concessions on costs of execution.

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