Largest Market Makers

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Written By
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Written By
Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley is an US-based trader, consultant, and part-time writer with a background in macroeconomics and mathematical finance. He trades and writes about a variety of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies, and interest rates. As a writer, his goal is to explain trading and finance concepts in levels of detail that could appeal to a range of audiences, from novice traders to those with more experienced backgrounds.

Market makers have an important role in financial markets by providing liquidity and facilitating trading by buying and selling securities from their own inventory.

They stand ready to buy or sell at publicly quoted prices, which helps with smoother market operations.

The largest market makers typically operate in various segments, including equities, fixed income, foreign exchange, and derivatives.


Largest Market Makers

Some of the largest and most influential market makers in global financial markets include:

Citadel Securities

A leading global market maker across equities, options, and interest rate swaps.

It’s known for handling a significant portion of US equity trading volume.

Virtu Financial

A high-frequency trading firm and market maker active in thousands of securities across 50 countries.

It operates in equities, fixed income, currencies, and commodities.

Two Sigma Securities

Part of the larger Two Sigma Investments, this firm is active in several markets by leveraging sophisticated technological methods and quantitative strategies.

Jane Street

Specializing in ETFs, equities, futures, options, bonds, and currencies, Jane Street combines global market making with proprietary trading and is known for its quantitative approach to trading and investment.


A global market maker that specializes in derivatives, equities, and other financial instruments.

Susquehanna International Group (SIG)

Focused on trading and market making in equities, ETFs, options, futures, and fixed income, SIG is known for its quantitative trading and proprietary technology.

IMC Trading

A global market maker in equities and derivatives, IMC is known for its technology-driven approach.

Jump Trading

Specializes in algorithmic and high-frequency trading strategies, with operations across currencies, fixed income, and commodities markets.

Hudson River Trading (HRT)

Focuses on algorithmic trading across global financial markets, using computational techniques to understand market dynamics.

XR Trading

A Chicago-based proprietary trading firm that focuses on market making and arbitrage across various asset classes, including commodities, equities, and options.


FAQs – Largest Market Makers

Who are the largest market makers?

The biggest market makers include:

  • Citadel Securities
  • Virtu Financial
  • Two Sigma Securities
  • Jane Street
  • Optiver
  • Susquehanna International Group (SIG)
  • IMC Trading
  • Jump Trading
  • Hudson River Trading (HRT)
  • XR Trading

Who is considered the leading global market maker?

Citadel Securities is considered a leading global market maker in stocks, options, and rate swaps, and is the biggest player in US equity trading volume.

Virtu Finance, Two Sigma, and Jane Street are large market makers as well.

What’s the profit margin of a market maker?

Market makers typically aim for thin profit margins on a high volume of trades. Their profitability is driven by the bid-ask spread and their ability to manage inventory and risk effectively.

Its business model would be analogous to a media company dependent on advertising to generate revenue. They don’t generate much per click – anywhere from a fraction of a cent to a few cents per click – so they need to aim for a lot of volume to cover their fixed costs while keeping their unit costs favorable.

What’s a reasonable rate of return for a market maker?

Well-established market makers often target returns in the mid-to-high teens percentage range, balancing risk and reward across diversified operations.

More generally, given the need for market makers to balance the risks of holding inventory against the profits from bid-ask spreads, a target annual return could range anywhere from single-digit percentages to potentially higher figures in more volatile or less efficient markets.

A reasonable rate of return for a market maker can vary a lot based on:

  • trading volumes
  • market volatility and overall market conditions
  • the asset class in question, and
  • the market maker’s risk management and operational efficiency (e.g., trading models, infrastructure)

Generally, market makers aim for modest but consistent returns on their capital, often targeting returns that are higher than risk-free rates but without exposing themselves to excessive risk.

However, these returns are contingent on market conditions and the effectiveness of the market maker’s strategies and operations.



The market making firms we listed use sophisticated algorithms and high-frequency trading techniques to execute a large volume of transactions, which contributes to market liquidity and efficiency.

Market making is continuously evolving, with technological advancements and regulatory changes shaping the strategies and operations of these key players and new entrants.