kcgThe ink is barely dry on the settlement agreement with Optiver, and new trouble looms for Tibra. Rumor has it Tibra has got a problem with Getco, or KCG as it is called after the take over of Knight. It’s a listed company nowadays, KCG.

Game changing hire

In november 2012 two former executives from Getco emerged at the London office of market maker / HFT shop Tibra. A head of algo trading and a software developer joined the Australians. At the time, heralded as a game changing hire (login). On contrary, one could say if the stories are true ; it would be a game we’ve heard before.

The developer allegedly took with him source codes, which have been used in real production. The story is, the management of Tibra was well aware of the situation, which would make the matter a lot bigger than just pinning the blame on some individuals.

Other developers

Can’t completely rule out the possibility these rumors come from the imagination of disgruntled former Tibra employees. There are hundreds of former employees, as the company has been downsizing from 350 to well below 100. Offices and trading desks shutting down in Europe and USA. Option trading business has been abandoned.

However, other developers at Tibra London notice when a new hire brings in outside code. Superhuman speed of writing a huge amount of code, inconsistent coding styles and even code in the repo not being used in production anywhere.  Currently the HF code allegedly taken from Getco, has been closed off to the company. The game changer himself has closed down his LinkedIn profile, which is a pity because it was funny.

This isn’t a vague rumor overheard in a pub. Sources have been able to show credible pieces of information.

Getco knows

It gets even worse. Getco (KGC) is said to know about the situation, and managed to obtain solid evidence. Negotiations between lawyers of KCG and Tibra are said to be ongoing and trying to reach a settlement outside of court. Harvey Specter knows why – avoid court. Win your battles before they’ve been fought.

The treasure chest of Tibra isn’t what it used to be. Aargh, the piracy business is a risky adventure!

KCG declined to comment.