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International Securities Exchange Holdings, Inc, International Securities Exchange Holdings, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of German derivatives exchange Eurex. It is a member of the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) and the Options Industry Council (OIC).

Founded in 2000, the ISE began its inception in 1997 with then-chairman of E-Trade, William A. Porter and his colleague, Marty Averbuch. They approached David Krell and Gary Katz about their concept and the four founded what is today the International Securities Exchange, the world’s largest equity options exchange to date.

Launched as the first fully-electronic US options exchange, ISE developed a unique market structure for advanced screen-based trading.

ISE offers equity and index options, including proprietary index products, as well as FX options based on foreign currency pairs. ISE also offers market data tools designed for sophisticated investors seeking information on investor sentiment, volatility), and other options data.

ISE Stock Exchange launched in September 2006. In August 2008, ISE Stock Exchange announced a partnership with Electronic Communication Network (ECN) Direct Edge. The deal makes the ISE Stock Exchange a wholly owned subsidiary of Direct Edge and will gives ISE an ownership stake in Direct Edge.

ISE Options Exchange

The ISE Options Exchange lists over 2,000 equity, index, ETF and quarterly options. ISE introduced index options in October 2003 and later in 2004 launched ISE Sector Indexes - industry indexes that track the performance of publicly traded companies in various industries. In 2007, ISE announced a partnership with First Trust to launch ETFs based on ISE proprietary indexes.

Since April 2007, the exchange also trades FX options, options based on foreign currency movements. These options are exchange-listed securities that can be accessed through most major brokerage accounts. All ISE FX Options have U.S. Dollar-based underlying values, which have an underlying value similar to traditional equity or index options and are cash-settled, eliminating the need to hold the actual foreign currency.

ISE offers educational content, including podcasts and webinars, which allow people to learn trading options strategies for individual and institutional investors.

ISE Stock Exchange/Partnership with Direct Edge

The ISE Stock Exchange launched in September 2006 and is an electronic marketplace offering two primary capabilities on one platform: “MidPoint Match” and “Displayed Market”. 'MidPoint Match' is an exchange-based, non-displayed market. Members can use MidPoint Match to trade equities instantaneously at the exact midpoint price of the National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO). Displayed market is a fully-electronic displayed market of the Best Bid and Offer trading the common stocks and ETFs listed on the NYSE, Nasdaq and Amex.

The ISE Stock Exchange became a wholly owned subsidiary of ECN Direct Edge in December 2008. ISE now holds ownership stake in the company. Direct Edge will continue with its efforts to submit two Form 1 applications to gain exchange status for the purpose of operating EDGA and EDGX as newly registered national securities exchanges. Until SEC approval of the two exchange licenses is granted, Direct Edge will utilize the ISE Stock Exchange for quotation display and tradethrough protection in the National Market System. During this period, the ISE Stock Exchange will continue to operate as a facility of ISE, LLC. ISE will also provide data center and regulatory services for Direct Edge exchange subsidiaries once they become part of the National Market System.



  • February 24, 2000: Registered as a national securities exchange with the Securities and Exchange Commission

  • May 26, 2000: Launched its Options Exchange - the first transaction was a purchase of 20 SBC Communications October 45 calls.

  • May 29, 2001: Traded its 25 millionth contract.

  • November 1, 2001: Became the 3rd largest U.S. equity options exchange when average daily volume for October 2001 reached 380,299 contracts,

  • May 22, 2002: Met its goal of listing equity options representing 90% of average daily trading volume in the US options industry.

  • October 29, 2002: Traded its 200 millionth contract.

  • February 20, 2003: Traded its 250 millionth contract.

  • March 1, 2003: Became the largest US equity options exchange after average daily volume for February 2003 reached 710,218 contracts.

  • January 2004: Was named Derivatives Exchange of the Year by Risk Magazine for the second time in three years.

  • March 9, 2005: Became the first securities exchange to sell its shares in an initial public offering.

  • May 24, 2005: Traded its 1 billionth contract.

  • December 8, 2005: Completed its secondary public offering.

  • January 20, 2006: Traded a record daily trading volume of 4,580,678 equity and index options contracts.

  • March 24, 2006: Launches its alternative markets trading platform.

  • May 16, 2006: Traded its 1.5 billionth contract.

  • September 1, 2006: Adopted a holding company structure.

  • September 8, 2006: Launched the ISE Stock Exchange, with its first product, MidPoint Match.

  • December 8, 2006: ISE Stock Exchange rolled out its fully-displayed stock market, the first fully-electronic exchange to provide integrated access to non-displayed and displayed liquidity pools.

  • February 27, 2007: Set a new record daily trading volume of 5,531,875 equity and index options. contracts.

  • March 5, 2007: Announced partnership Toronto Stock Exchange to launch DEX, a new derivatives market in 2009. The agreement was later terminated when Toronto Stock Exchange agreed to buy Montreal Exchange Inc.

  • March 9, 2007: Traded its 2 billionth options contract.

  • April 17, 2007: Launched ISE FX Options.

  • April 30, 2007: German exchange operator Deutsche Börse announced it will buy International Securities Exchange (ISE.N) for $2.8 billion, creating a transatlantic derivatives marketplace.

  • December 20, 2007: Eurex completes acquisition of ISE. ISE will continue to be regulated by the SEC as a registered national securities exchange and will operate under the existing management team as an independent subsidiary of Eurex.

  • September 18, 2008: Trades a new record daily trading volume of 7,903,304 options contracts.

  • October 28, 2008: Enters into an agreement with the New York Stock Exchangemarker to license the right to list ISE FX Options products on the NYSE Arca Options platform.

  • December 23, 2008: Completes deal with Direct Edge. ISE Stock Exchange becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of the Direct Edge with ISE gaining a 31.54% ownership stake.


  1. ISE Joins Direct Edge to Gain U.S. Share Wall Street Journal
  2. ISE-Direct Edge Deal Done Securities Industry News January 5, 2009
  3. International Securities Exchange Now the Third Largest U.S. Options Exchange; Solid Growth Trend Strengthens November 1, 2001, Business Wire
  4. ISE Meets Listings Target on Second Anniversary May 23, 2002, Securities Industry News
  5. Options Mart Is No.1 Despite Trade Through May 2004, Traders Magazine
  6. The Risk Awards 2004 by January 2004/Volume17/No1
  7. Bloomberg News April 30, 2008
  8. Bloomberg News April 30, 2007
  9. Fox News December 20, 2007
  10. ISE January 2, 2009
  11. Press Release December 23, 2008

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