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High-Speed Trading Firm Jump to Execute Retail Investors’ Stock Trades - The Wall Street Journal

Jump Trading Group, one of the world’s largest high-frequency trading firms, will launch a unit that executes stock orders for individual investors, a business that has grown more lucrative for electronic traders as meme-stock mania has fueled a surge in U.S. retail volumes.

Executives at Jump told The Wall Street Journal that the firm is setting up a so-called retail wholesaler business. Wholesalers fill buy and sell orders for the customers of online brokerages such as Robinhood Markets Inc. and TD Ameritrade.

Chicago-based Jump is a big player in global markets, despite its low profile and penchant for secrecy. The firm is active on futures, options and stock exchanges around the world and is a major trader of Treasurys and cryptocurrencies. It employs more than 900 people and has offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Wholesalers generally make money by collecting a small spread between the buying and selling price of stocks, often just a fraction of a penny per share. Most are units of firms such as Citadel Securities or Virtu Financial Inc. that trade millions of shares each day.

Jump declined to provide the timing of the launch, saying it was still seeking regulatory approvals needed to operate the business. The firm decided several years ago to start a wholesaler, well before the recent trading frenzies in stocks such as GameStop Corp. and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., the executives said.