Excerpt from the Crain’s Chicago Business article:
It’s the end of an era for the Chicago options industry. The last major Chicago-based retail stock options brokers have been sold.
Chicago traders began launching the retail shops in 1999 with the help of the Internet and attracted the attention of big brokerages which were eager to buy up the customer accounts. The out-of-town owners helped the industry expand, but they also squeezed the smaller remaining Chicago shops and ultimately bought out most of the local businesses.
“We commoditized a space that needed disrupting,” says Tom Sosnoff, a co-founder of Thinkorswim Group Inc., which was sold five years ago. “It was easier for the big brokers to let the small Chicago boutiques blaze the trail and come in and buy us out.”