Photo credit: Andrew Bain
The proof of concept behind BIDS Trading was created by six Canadians – five of them from Calgary. Now headquartered in New York, the fintech concept developed by BIDS was funded by a dozen of the world’s largest banks and financial institutions. In January 2021, the company was acquired by one of the world’s largest market operators, Cboe Global Markets.
“We’ve found Calgary to be a great place to build our technology business, not just because of the quality of our people but because of their dedication to making us successful,” said Brett Vasconcellos, Chief Technology Officer, BIDS.
BIDS is a registered broker-dealer and operates the BIDS Alternative Trading System, which brings counterparties together to anonymously trade large blocks of shares. It specializes in “block trading”, a purchase and sale of a large number of equities.
Behind the scenes are fintech technical innovations that allow the system to conduct half of a millisecond trading, over millions of transactions a day.
“When I joined BIDS in 2009, I felt like the new guy for a few years. We’ve since added more people to the tech team in both Calgary and NYC,” said Vasconcellos. “International recruits see how close Calgary is to Banff and the Rockies and they get really excited by all the recreational possibilities. Once here, they’re blown away by our welcoming culture – they really see this as a land of opportunity.”
“We all know each other and, if we don’t, we're happy to help out with introductions and connections. We are a very supportive community.”
The company is setting its sights on farther-flung geographies, including Australia and Japan, as well as on Exchange Traded Funds and possibly derivatives.
“We’ve been here in Calgary since the beginning,” said Vasconcellos. “It will be nice to finally trade Canadian equities. It’s been a long time coming.”