BELFAST based Options Technology has announced it has agreed to acquire ACTIV Financial. In addition to the ACTIV acquisition, the firm has also announced that it will create 150 new, high-skilled jobs at its headquarters in the city over the next 18 months, almost doubling its workforce there.
Founded at the age of 16 in 1993 by Nigel Kneafsey, Options now have offices in New York, Toronto, Chicago, London, Belfast, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand.
Options, a long-term provider of global capital markets services including cloud-enabled managed solutions, global trading infrastructure and telemetry analytics services, first opened a Belfast office in 2014.
The company now employs close to 150 people in the city, most recently taking three floors at a central Belfast location in 2018. Hiring will commence immediately for the new roles.
ACTIV Financial are a world-renowned global provider of real-time, delayed, historical and enriched multi-asset financial market data and offer a wide range of industry-leading solutions in a true Enterprise data platform.
The combination of Options' core services will allow clients to bring their mission-critical applications closer to the data source, in essence bringing the query to the data, not the data to the query.
In addition, this acquisition further supports Options' growth strategy, allowing clients to benefit from an extensive market data footprint and global trading connectivity built on and supported by best of breed technologies, industry-leading automation and world-class cyber security and monitoring.
"We believe that merging the ACTIV data feed and software capabilities on top of the Options global network and infrastructure is probably the most impactful deal in the sector in the last decade," said Danny Moore, Options' President and Chief Executive Officer.
"The industry has been crying out for a true next-generation platform focused on the coming decades, near zero latency, global, on modern hardware, fully Cloud Integrated, and fully backward compatible. Merging our platforms will bring all that and more.”
Regarding plans to expand the firm’s presence in Belfast, Mr Moore continued: “Since setting up in Belfast in 2014, we've grown the office to be our largest location globally, attracting some of the best local talent.
The ACTIV acquisition will mean further growth for Options, and we are delighted to be able to leverage the highly-skilled talent pool in Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland as we continue to grow our engineering and technical support capabilities."
Steve McNeany, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder at ACTIV Financial, added: "The acquisition of ACTIV Financial by Options is an extremely exciting time in our history, and we are confident this deal will deliver a highly differentiated and competitive offering to both our current clients and the market as a whole.
“We believe this is the start of a new era in the market data industry providing unparalleled, fully managed market data services globally with our clients set to benefit from a wide range of strategic synergies."
This news comes as the latest in a series of strategic developments for Options, including the appointment of former Fixnetix executive Marlena Efstratopoulou to Chief Risk Officer, expansion to Canada with their Toronto office opening, announcement of the acquisition of Fixnetix from DXC Technology, and their partnership with Packets2Disc to provide market-leading network analytics solutions.