CHICAGO Dec 20 Infinium Capital Management has
started reducing its trading portfolio "across the board" to
provide units that are performing well with resources, the
president of the high-speed U.S. trading firm said on Friday.
Privately held Infinium is among the higher-profile
electronic trading groups and a household name among Chicago
traders. The firm trades in commodities, energy and other
Infinium is "actively looking to reduce" its risk, president
Mark Palchak said in an interview after traders reported that
the firm was exiting positions in commodity markets. "Today was
a part of that, and we'll continue."
Palchak declined to say why Infinium was reducing risk or
which markets it was exiting. He initially said the firm was not
closing its energy unit and then said he could not comment on
"We have groups that are doing really well right now, and we
want to make sure they have everything that they need to do
well," he said.
A favored tool of hedge funds and other institutional
traders, high-speed traders use so-called algorithmic software
programs to post orders in the blink of an eye. Firms have
struggled financially because of increased competition and
regulatory oversight, low interest rates that have hurt volume
and volatility, and the uncertain global economic recovery.
Infinium has shed employees since this summer, including its
former chief operating officer, and brought in a new boss, who
came out of retirement to lead the firm.
FXCM Inc, a foreign-exchange brokerage, in October
bought a $12 million note issued by Infinium. Infinium had said
it wanted to strengthen its capital position.
"To our knowledge, Infinium has begun deleveraging and
reducing its portfolio," FXCM spokeswoman Jaclyn Klein said.
"FXCM will continue exploring partnership opportunities with
FXCM shares rose 3.8 percent on Friday.