Last year I wrote “Optiver killed it in 2014”. The most succesful Dutch trading firm had a great year. But how to write a headline for their 2015 results? The latest results are nothing short of amazing.

Profits up 60%

The net profit was €395 million in 2015. That’s almost €150 million more than the previous year. That’s a growth percentage of 60%. Rival trading outfits like IMC, Virtu and Flow Traders saw only modest growth. The results for IMC Financial Markets were called “decent”.

Compare the 2015 profits for the mentioned trading firms:


Inspiring annual report

The financial report submitted at the chamber of commerce is hard to read. Looks like papers have been in the washing machine a few times (pdf, but don’t even try). Was about to believe in a farfetched conspiracy theory (deliver unreadable papers to hide company secrets).

But that’s not their style. Here’s the clear and colourful annual report. It’s a good and inspiring read. If you don’t know any better, it gives you the impression they are in the trading business for charity. Improving the market. They don’t mention the Hammer.

No hammertime, but they do mention and thank Luke McElnea. The ceo in APAC was sacked last year. I assumed disappointing profits in the region would have something to do with it. Turns out there has been another issue instead.

Optiver shares ; €2600 bid

Back to the figures. For the first time the trading result was higher than one billion (€1.2 bln). The average pay per employee was €370,000. Headcount went up from 807 to 913 people. There are currently 1.4 million shares Optiver outstanding. The current bid is €2600. That’s €1000 more per share than Rob Keldoulis received for his 30,000 shares last year.

Long term graph

Virtu was founded in 2008, Flow Traders a few years earlier. For the long term graph let’s compare Optiver and IMC. The firms haven’t always been this profitable. Optiver had a tough year back in 2009.