ICE is the acronym used for the Intercontinental Exchange, which is an electronic exchange platform designed originally for the trading of energy related products, but which has expanded to offer trading in other commodities, foreign exchange and interest rate products and equity index futures.
ICE is now the parent company of a wide range of exchanges and clearing houses, including the NYSE.
ICE and Acquistions
ICE has rapidly disrupted the world of exchanges and clearing houses through an aggressive process of acquisition.
Many of the acquisitions include major names with deep histories in the financial world, and ICE’s rapid expansion has been slowed or halted by competition or national interest concerns on a number of occasions.
ICE and the Digitization of Trading
After its initial success in digitizing the market for energy products, ICE has continued to expand by buying up traditional exchanges and clearing houses and then modernizing and digitizing them according to its basic electronic trading platform.
These subsidiaries may still retain their original focus and some local ‘flavor’, but they in essence become franchisees of ICE’s global trading platform.
ICE often leaves many of the original staff in place after a takeover, but will usually move some core ICE staff to oversee the transition and supervise the subsidiary in perpetuity.
ICE and Data Services
More recently ICE has focused its expansions on the acquisition of data and analytic services and the promotion of these services for clients of its various exchanges and clearing houses.
This also includes post-trade and clerical services, meaning that ICE is attempting to establish itself as global full-service platform for electronic trading, particularly in derivatives.
ICE and Trading
Through on-going digitization and modernization efforts, ICE continues to facilitate the rapid expansion of retail trading, whose products most day traders rely on.
Assets and investment products that were once reserved for corporations and financial institutions are now accessible for trading by retail traders with an Internet connection and a basic computing setup. This process is only set to continue at a more rapid pace as the interfaces of exchanges become increasingly simplified, digitized and streamlined.
ICE’s focus on developing the full range of trading-related services, including data, analytics and clerical services, means that the services offered to retail traders will only continue to improve as they have over the last decades or two.
Day traders can expect that ICE’s continued dominance in the exchange and clearing industries will mean a greater degree of access to all manner of assets and investment products, as well as more trading services made accessible to retail traders for a reasonable price.
From its humble beginnings as a digital platform for companies to trade energy products, ICE has rapidly expanded to become the leading force for the modernization and digitization of trading.
This means that day traders can expect a continuing effort to bring an increasing number of assets, investment products and trading services to their fingertips, and the on-going de-institutionalization of trading in general.