Interview with Stefan Kaemper of Rotter Invest
Want a power advantage over the big guys?
See how a small trading company pushes the limits of technology to reap the mind-boggling earning potential of being just that much faster than the big guys. Timely upgrades give it the edge.
Multiple applications running simultaneously, a market that never sleeps, zero tolerance for system downtime, transactions rates where milliseconds can mean millions – these are the challenges that Stefan Kämper faces daily as Head of Technical Trading for Rotter Invest AG, which trades in index futures funds through the fully electronic Eurex exchange.
With only a handful of traders, Rotter Invest competes against the big investment firms by maintaining a technical advantage. The strategy is driven by owner Paul Rotter, one of the most influential and successful financial futures traders in the world whose annual income has been estimated at 30 Million Euros.
ROI vs. outpacing the competition
Often smaller, budget-conscious businesses try to save money by only renewing IT when the current system is outdated. Yet, by delaying upgrades, these companies may lose the opportunity to increase profits. “We upgrade on a regular basis,” counters Kämper. “We have to be the fastest. We need the edge in the market that the technology gives us.”
Kämper uses the latest HP workstations for their immense processing power. They can run multiple complex applications at once, handle high speed transactions, and support a bank of screens for trading and displaying charts, live systems and analysis systems. “We rely on our computers to help us spot the trends faster than anyone else see them,” notes Kämper.
Innovations in interconnectivity and electronic trading have made active trading possible 24/7 so Kämper upgraded his system’s mobility and reliability too. Handhelds combined with a wireless LAN network allow his traders to leave their screens and still keep an eye on positions in global markets. Kämper, the owner of a new HP handheld, admits, “You can do a quote while making a pizza or travelling. It’s great if you have positions running, but not so good if you wanted a quiet evening with your girlfriend.”
Factoring in the cost of downtime
Rotter Invest is located in Zug, Switzerland, not just for the tax advantage, but for the reliable network too. Kämper says system failure can’t be risked. He has to have the most robust infrastructure and a power source he can be certain of. In an industry where time really is money, HP’s finance solutions are designed specifically to meet the growing demand for ultra-reliable systems.
Kämper looks forward to seeing more power, more reliability, and more mobility in the future. “And a true virtual trading floor -or sunglasses that project the screens so we can see everything at once,” he adds, only half joking. Although Kämper, says nothing can match the excitement of the floor, he’ll ensure Rotter Invest uses technology to stay ahead of the competition, no matter what the future holds for electronic trading.
Article by Laura Schulte, first published 2006