The news didn’t hit the wires as a big surprise. All Options is seriously cutting its headcount, and will retreat to their office at the Herengracht 433. They will leave the large trading floor at Beursplein 5. This trading floor needs to be filled with other traders by Euronext. After all, the daily opening ceremony of the market in front of a deserted trading floor has the charm of a EDL protest march in a grassland outside the western city limits. Good to keep everything under control, but a little silly anyway.

Speaking of the western city limits, there’s basically only one large option firm suitable for filling the gap All Options left on Beursplein. Scrocca is a well-run firm with only one minor problem – trading from an isolated office near Sloterdijk – with the nearest bar/restaurant being the Burger King. No doubt some of their traders would love migrating back to the city center. However, Scrocca isn’t interested in relocation to the Beursplein.

Other firms are either to big and currently in brand new buildings in the southern business district (Optiver, IMC) or just too small (323 Trading) to fit on the trading floor. Another possibility would be to join more firms together on the floor, there are a few medium sized firms like Calimero, EXT, Klinkenberg, Leopark, Nino and Caerus in smaller offices in the same exchange building. But this possibility has a few drawbacks. Firms like Caerus developing their own advanced software would never agree to run the risk of sharing their tricks with competitors.

Euronext hasn’t got the right cards at the moment to demand a high rent – but at least someone should trade on the floor. Or pretend to be trading at least, as there isn’t much volume and volatility in the market this year. Maybe some unemployed former traders should be lured into the job of pretending to trade during the opening ceremony and at times RTL Z is broadcasting.

Update 1 : as a commenter points out – even bigger and far richer than Scrocca is the successful arbitrage firm Flow Traders. Although not located as remote as halfway Castricum, their centre-eastside office could use a little upgrade.

Update 2 : the rent for the trading floor is 50.000 euro per month. A smart bargainer could negotiate a lower fee for the coming years, as the contract for All Options runs for two more years. Without a new firm for this location, All Options would have to take a loss of 1,2 million euro for the rent of an empty office.