A staple of the futures industry, the NinjaTrader platform is one of the most well-known platforms for retail futures traders. Launched in 2003, the platform was one of the first to begin offering traders the ability to build automated trading strategies for both programmers and non-coders alike. Among NinjaTrader’s earliest broker partners was Chicago-based Mirus Futures, who in addition to offering the platform customers, had worked together in creating an ecosystem of third party applications for the platform.
Taking their relationship further, NinjaTrader Group announced that it has acquired Mirus Futures today. With the acquisition, NinjaTrader is launching NinjaTrader Brokerage. Existing Mirus Futures’ customers will be unaffected by the change, other than having their accounts operated under the new NinjaTrader Brokerage name. In addition, the brokerage will also continue to support non-NinjaTrader platforms that were being offered by Mirus. In terms of order routing, exchange connectivity is being provided via CQG through Continuum. The CQG connection replaces previous connectivity that had also been available via Zen-Fire, which was owned by Mirus but which is being discontinued.
Among the benefits of the deal, NinjaTrader is promoting to futures traders that it will be providing its platform with industry-leading low commissions. While the offering becomes a compelling choice for traders, the brokerage launch can be viewed as a risky move as it now puts them in direct competition with their broker partners. In addition, while NinjaTrader has stated it will continue to be available through other brokers, their website encourages existing users of their platform to review their new brokerage offering and potentially make a switch. However, after growing its share in the futures market, NinjaTrader apparently feels the launch of a brokerage will allow them to leverage their popularity, taking the company to the proverbial ‘next step’.
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In the company’s public statement, NinjaTrader CEO and Founder Raymond Deux, alluded to the pricing advantage the brokerage will offer as he commented, “As the industry’s leading platform provider, we have witnessed the inefficiencies of brokerage along with the resulting frustrations experienced by our traders.” Adding, “Our dedication to providing an exceptional client experience will remain paramount within NinjaTrader Brokerage. Combined with our award winning platform and extensive Ecosystem of 400+ partners, we will provide self-directed traders with unprecedented levels of service and functionality.”
FX Trading Coming
While not a household name in the spot Forex industry, partially due to the small interest for the product from US-based customers, NinjaTrader is available from a few retail Forex brokers. Mirus themselves created a Forex division, offering users demo trading using the MT4 and NinjaTrader platform. In regards to Forex and future plans in the industry, Deux commented to Forex Magnates, “We maintain our strategic relationship with FXCM and still offer NinjaTrader platform access for FX trading through GAIN, Interactive Brokers and MB Trading.” Adding also, “We plan to offer FX brokerage services in the near future.”