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Table of Contents

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the year ended December 31, 2021

Commission File Number: 001-33440

INTERACTIVE BROKERS GROUP, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

Delaware
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)

30-0390693
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

One Pickwick Plaza

Greenwich, Connecticut 06830

(Address of principal executive office)

(203618-5800

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

Title of each class

Trading Symbol

Name of the exchange on which registered

Common Stock, par value $.01 per share

IBKR

The Nasdaq Global Select Market

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the securities act. Yes x No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the act. Yes o No x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes x No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

Large accelerated filer x

Accelerated filer o

Non-accelerated filer o

Smaller reporting company o

Emerging growth company o

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its

audit report. Yes x No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o No x

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $5,475,738,797 computed by reference to the $65.73 closing sale price of the common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market, on June 30, 2021, the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter.

As of February 22, 2022, there were 98,227,883 shares of the issuer’s Class A common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding and 100 shares of the issuer’s Class B common stock, par value $0.01 per share, outstanding.

Documents Incorporated by Reference: Portions of Registrant’s definitive proxy statement for its 2022 annual meeting of shareholders are incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K.


Table of Contents

ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2021

Table of Contents

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements

1

PART I

ITEM 1

Business

2

ITEM 1A

Risk Factors

18

ITEM 1B

Unresolved Staff Comments

27

ITEM 2

Properties

28

ITEM 3

Legal Proceedings and Regulatory Matters

29

ITEM 4

Mine Safety Disclosures

29

PART II

ITEM 5

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

30

ITEM 7

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

32

ITEM 7A

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

52

ITEM 8

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

57

ITEM 9

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

97

ITEM 9A

Controls and Procedures

97

ITEM 9B

Other Information

99

PART III

ITEM 10

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

99

ITEM 11

Executive Compensation

99

ITEM 12

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

99

ITEM 13

Transactions with Related Persons, Promoters and Certain Control Persons

99

ITEM 14

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

99

PART IV

ITEM 15

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

101

ITEMS 15 (a)(1) and 15 (a)(2)

Index to Financial Statements and Financial Statement Schedule

102

ITEM 16

10-K Summary

102

SIGNATURES

i


Table of Contents

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

We have included or incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and from time to time our management may make statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only our beliefs regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside our control. These statements include statements other than historical information or statements of current condition and may relate to our future plans and objectives and results, among other things and may also include our belief regarding the effect of various legal proceedings, as set forth under “Legal Proceedings and Regulatory Matters” in Part I, Item 3 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as statements about the objectives and effectiveness of our liquidity policies, statements about trends in or growth opportunities for our businesses, included in “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. By identifying these statements for you in this manner, we are alerting you to the possibility that our actual results may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results indicated in these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements include, among others, those discussed below and under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any future results, expressed or implied, in these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following:

general economic conditions in the markets where we operate;

increased industry competition and downward pressures on electronic brokerage commissions and on bid/offer spreads in the remaining market making business we operate;

risks inherent to the electronic brokerage and market making businesses;

implied versus actual price volatility levels of the products in which we continue to make markets;

the general level of interest rates;

failure to protect or enforce our intellectual property rights in our proprietary technology;

our ability to keep up with rapid technological change;

system failures, cyber security threats and other disruptions;

non-performance of third-party vendors;

conflicts of interest and other risks due to our ownership and holding company structure;

the loss of key executives and failure to recruit and retain qualified personnel;

the risks associated with the expansion of our business;

our possible inability to integrate any businesses we acquire;

the impact of accounting standards issued but not yet adopted;

compliance with laws and regulations, including those relating to the securities industry;

the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) pandemic and the measures implemented to contain the spread of the virus; and

other factors discussed under “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K or elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

1


Table of Contents

PART I

ITEM 1. BUSINESS

Overview

Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (“IBG, Inc.” or the “Company”) is an automated global electronic broker. We custody and service accounts for hedge and mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (“ETFs”), registered investment advisors, proprietary trading groups, introducing brokers and individual investors. We specialize in routing orders while striving to achieve best executions and processing trades in stocks, options, futures, foreign exchange instruments (“forex”), bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, metals and cryptocurrencies on more than 150 electronic exchanges and market centers around the world. In the United States of America (“U.S.”), we conduct our business primarily from our headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut and from Chicago, Illinois. Abroad, we conduct our business through offices located in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Hungary, India, China (Hong Kong and Shanghai), Japan, Singapore and Australia. As of December 31, 2021, we had 2,571 employees worldwide.

IBG, Inc. is a holding company whose primary asset is the ownership of approximately 23.5% of the membership interests of IBG LLC, the current holding company for our businesses. IBG, Inc. is the sole managing member of IBG LLC.

When we use the terms “we,” “us,” and “our,” we mean IBG, Inc. and its subsidiaries (including IBG LLC). Unless otherwise indicated, the terms “common stock” and “IBKR shares” refer to the Class A common stock of IBG, Inc.

We are a successor to the market making business founded by our Chairman, Mr. Thomas Peterffy, on the floor of the American Stock Exchange in 1977. Since our inception, we have focused on developing proprietary software to automate broker-dealer functions. We have been a pioneer in developing and applying technology as a financial intermediary to increase liquidity and transparency in the capital markets in which we operate. The proliferation of electronic exchanges and market centers since the early 1990s has allowed us to integrate our software with an increasing number of trading venues, creating one automatically functioning, computerized platform that requires minimal human intervention. Over four decades of developing our automated trading platforms and automating many middle and back office functions have allowed us to become one of the lowest cost providers of broker-dealer services and to significantly increase the volume of trades we handle.

Our internet address is www.interactivebrokers.com and the investor relations section of our website is located at www.interactivebrokers.com/ir. We make available free of charge, on or through the investor relations section of our website, this Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as proxy statements, registration statements, prospectus supplements and Section 16 filings for our directors and officers, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The SEC maintains an internet site, www.sec.gov, that contains annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy and information statements and other information that issuers file electronically with the SEC. Our electronic SEC filings are made available to the public on the SEC’s internet site. In addition, posted on our website are our Bylaws, our Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation, charters for the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our board of directors, our Accounting Matters Complaint Policy, our Whistle Blower Hotline, our Corporate Governance Guidelines and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics governing our directors, officers and employees. Within the time periods required by SEC and the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC’s Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”), we will post on our website any amendment to the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and any waiver applicable to any executive officer, director or senior financial officer. In addition, our website includes information concerning purchases and sales of our equity securities by our executive officers and directors, as well as disclosure relating to certain non-GAAP financial measures, if any, (as defined in Regulation G) promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”) that we may make public orally, telephonically, by webcast, by broadcast or by similar means from time to time.

Our Investor Relations Department can be contacted at Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., Two Pickwick Plaza, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830, Attn: Investor Relations, e-mail: investor-relations@interactivebrokers.com.


2


Table of Contents

Our Organizational Structure and Overview of Recapitalization Transactions

The graphic below illustrates our current ownership structure and reflects current ownership percentages. The graphic below does not display the subsidiaries of IBG LLC.

Diagram

Description automatically generated

Our primary assets are our ownership of approximately 23.5% of the membership interests of IBG LLC, the current holding company for our businesses, and our controlling interest and related contractual rights as the sole managing member of IBG LLC. The remaining approximately 76.5% of IBG LLC membership interests are held by IBG Holdings LLC (“Holdings”), a holding company that is owned directly and indirectly by our founder and Chairman, Mr. Thomas Peterffy and his affiliates, management and other employees of IBG LLC, and certain other members. The IBG LLC membership interests held by Holdings will be subject to purchase by us over time in connection with offerings by us of shares of our common stock.

The table below presents the amount of IBG LLC membership interests held by IBG, Inc. and Holdings as of December 31, 2021.

IBG, Inc.

Holdings

Total

Ownership %

23.5%

76.5%

100.0%

Membership interests

98,230,127

319,880,492

418,110,619

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Purchases of IBG LLC membership interests, held by Holdings, by the Company are governed by the exchange agreement among us, IBG LLC, Holdings and the historical members of IBG LLC, (the “Exchange Agreement”), a copy of which was filed as an exhibit to our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2009 and filed with the SEC on November 9, 2009. The Exchange Agreement, as amended June 6, 2012, provides that the Company may facilitate the redemption by Holdings of interests held by its members through the issuance of shares of common stock through a public offering in exchange for the interests in IBG LLC being redeemed by Holdings. Periodically since June 2011, with the consent of Holdings and the Company (on its own behalf and acting as the sole managing member of IBG LLC), IBG LLC has agreed to redeem certain membership interests from Holdings through the sale of common stock and to distribute the proceeds of such sale to the beneficial owners of such membership interests. From 2011 through 2021, the Company issued 34,207,307 shares of common stock (with a fair value of $1,491 million) to Holdings in exchange for an equivalent number of shares of member interests in IBG LLC.

Nature of Operations

As an electronic broker, we execute, clear and settle trades globally for both institutional and individual customers. Capitalizing on our proprietary technology, our systems provide our customers with the capability to monitor multiple markets around the world simultaneously and to execute trades electronically in these markets at a low cost in multiple products and currencies from a single trading account. We offer our customers access to all classes of tradable, primarily exchange-listed products, including stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, metals and cryptocurrencies traded on more than 150 electronic exchanges and market centers in 33 countries and in 25 currencies seamlessly around the world. The ever-growing complexity of multiple market centers has provided us with opportunities to build and continuously adapt our order routing software to secure excellent execution prices.

Since the launching of our electronic brokerage business in 1993, we have grown to approximately 1.68 million institutional and individual brokerage customers. We provide our customers with what we believe to be one of the most effective and efficient electronic brokerage platforms in the industry.

We are able to provide our customers with high-speed trade execution at low commission rates, in large part because of our proprietary technology. As a result of our advanced electronic brokerage platform, we attract sophisticated and active investors.

No single customer represented more than 1.5% of our commissions in 2021.

Our key product offerings include:

IBKR ProSM is the core IBKR service designed for sophisticated investors. IBKR ProSM offers the lowest cost access to stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, metals and cryptocurrencies from a single integrated platform with no added spreads, ticket charges, account minimums or platform fees.

IBKR LiteSM provides unlimited commission-free trades on U.S. exchange-listed stocks and ETFs as well as low-cost access to global markets without required account minimums or platform fees to participating U.S. customers. IBKR LiteSM was designed to meet the needs of investors who are seeking a simple, commission-free way to trade U.S. exchange-listed stocks and ETFs and do not wish to consider our efforts to obtain greater price improvement through our IB SmartRoutingSM system.

IBKR Integrated Investment Account From a single point of entry in one IBKR Integrated Investment Account our customers are able to transact in 25 currencies, across multiple classes of tradable, primarily exchange-listed products traded on more than 150 electronic exchanges and market centers in 33 countries around the world seamlessly. Our offering features a suite of cash management services, including:

Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard® and Interactive Brokers Canada Prepaid Mastercard® Card – Interactive Brokers Debit Mastercard® and Interactive Brokers Canada Prepaid Mastercard® Card allow customers to spend and borrow directly against their account at lower interest rates than credit cards, personal loans and home equity lines of credit, with no monthly minimum payments and no late fees. Customers can use their card to make purchases and ATM withdrawals anywhere Debit Mastercard®1 or Prepaid Mastercard®1is accepted around the world.

 

Bill Pay – Our Bill Pay program allows customers to make electronic or check payments to almost any company or individual in the U.S. The service can be configured for one-time or recurring payments and permits customers to schedule future payments.

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1 Debit Mastercard® and Prepaid Mastercard® are trademarks registered to Mastercard International Incorporated Corporation, Delaware, 2000 Purchase Street, Purchase, New York 10577-2405.


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Direct Deposit and Mobile Check Deposit – Our Direct Deposit program allows customers to automatically deposit paychecks, pension distributions and other recurring payments to their (non-retirement) brokerage account with us. In addition, U.S. customers can use our Mobile Check Deposit to directly deposit checks drawn on a U.S. bank.

Request for Payment Service Through this new banking service, U.S. customers can make instant deposits, 24 hours a day, from their mobile banking app or other bank portal to fund their brokerage account with us. Funds deposited via Request for Payment are immediately available for trading. The service is available to customers with an account at J.P. Morgan Chase and, over time, other banks will be added.

Insured Bank Deposit Sweep Program – Our Insured Bank Deposit Sweep Program provides eligible customers with up to $2,500,000 of Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) insurance on their eligible cash balances in addition to the existing $250,000 Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”) coverage for total coverage of $2,750,000. Customers continue earning the same competitive interest rates currently applied to cash held in their brokerage accounts with us. We sweep each participating customer’s eligible cash balances daily to one or more banks, up to $246,500 per bank, allowing for the accrual of interest and keeping within the FDIC protected threshold. Cash balances above $2,750,000 remain subject to safeguarding under the SEC's Customer Protection Rule 15c3-3.

Investors’ MarketplaceSM The Investors’ MarketplaceSM is an expansion of our Money Manager Marketplace and our Hedge Fund Capital Introduction program. This program is the first electronic meeting place that brings together individual investors, financial advisors, money managers, fund managers, research analysts, technology providers, business developers and administrators, allowing them to interact to form connections and conduct business.

Mutual Fund Marketplace – The Mutual Fund Marketplace offers our customers access to more than 45,000 mutual funds worldwide, including more than 17,000 no-transaction-fee funds from over 480 fund families.

Bond Marketplace – The Bond Marketplace allows customers to search for the best yields from a vast universe of bonds from issuers in the Americas, Europe and Asia. We provide direct market access at a low cost to a wide array of corporate, government and municipal securities. Our customers obtain competitive bids and offers with low, transparent commissions and no hidden mark-ups.

Fractional Trading – Fractional Trading allows customers to buy and sell using either a specified cash amount or fractional shares, which are stock units that amount to less than one full share. This functionality allows customers to purchase as little as $1.00 of almost any U.S. stock, experiment with trading and investing without committing substantial sums of money, and learn about building and rebalancing diversified portfolios.

Cryptocurrency – Customers, including both individuals and advisors, can trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) through Paxos Trust Company, alongside other asset classes on a single integrated platform.

U.S. Spot Gold – Customers can trade U.S. Spot Gold alongside other asset classes from a single integrated account. In addition, our customers have access to efficient pricing in quantities as small as one ounce and can request physical delivery of their U.S. Spot Gold position.

No Transaction Fee Program for Exchange-Traded Funds – We offer a "fee waived" no transaction fee program for ETFs that reimburses IBKR ProSM customers and eligible non-U.S. customers for commissions paid on ETF shares held for at least 30 days.

For all customers, our platform offers:

Low Costs We provide our customers with among the industry’s lowest overall transaction costs in two ways. First, we offer among the lowest execution, commission and financing costs in the industry. Second, our IBKR ProSM customers benefit from our advanced routing of orders designed to achieve the best available trade price.

IB SmartRoutingSM IB SmartRoutingSM retains control of the customer’s order, continuously searches for the best available price and, unlike most other routers, dynamically routes and re-routes all or parts of a customer’s order to achieve optimal execution and among the lowest execution and commission costs in the industry. To highlight the quality of our price executions, we publish on our website independent measurements performed by a third-party provider of transaction analysis to illustrate our net price improvement for commissionable trades versus the industry. We also offer Transaction Cost Analysis reporting to allow customers to track execution performance using multiple criteria. Our IBKR ProSM customers benefit from our advanced order routing technology for all trades, while our IBKR LiteSM customers benefit from this technology for their trades in products not eligible for IBKR LiteSM.

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Automated Risk Controls Throughout the trading day, we calculate margin requirements for each of our customers on a real-time basis across all product classes and across all currencies. Our customers are alerted to approaching margin violations and if a customer’s equity falls below what is required to support that customer’s margin, we attempt to automatically liquidate positions on a real-time basis to bring the customer’s account into margin compliance. This is done to protect us, as well as the customer, from excessive losses.

Flexible and Customizable System Our platform is designed to provide an efficient customer experience, beginning with a highly automated account opening process and ending with fast trade execution and reporting. Our sophisticated interface provides interactive real-time views of account balances, positions, profits or losses, buying power and “what-if” scenarios to enable our customers to more easily make informed investment decisions and trade effectively. Our system is configured to remember the user’s preferences and is specifically designed for multi-screen systems. When away from their main workstations, customers can access their accounts through our IBKR Mobile platforms for a seamless experience.

Securities Financing Services We offer a suite of automated Stock Borrow and Lending tools, including our depth of availability, transparent rates, global reach and dedicated service representatives. Our Stock Yield Enhancement Program allows our customers to lend their fully-paid stock shares to us in exchange for cash or U.S. Treasury securities collateral. In turn, we lend these stocks in exchange for collateral and earn stock lending fees. We pay our customers interest on the collateral value generally equal to 50% of the income we earn from lending the shares. This allows customers holding fully-paid long stock positions to enhance their returns.

Block Trade Desk We offer broker-assisted trading through our Corporate Bond and Stock and Option block order desks. The desks help traders execute large or complex orders and monitor trades when customers are unable to do so. The desks source liquidity, bring SPX color from the pit, offer price discovery services, and help customers calibrate and execute complex algo trading strategies.

IBKR Campus – IBKR Campus helps customers learn about the markets, products, and tools available through our platforms. IBKR Campus offers self-directed courses at the Traders’ Academy, live and recorded webinars, our Traders’ Insight market commentary blog, the IBKR Quant Blog, and our Student Trading Lab, which lets educators bring real-world trading experiences to their classroom. In addition, we provide content to Coursera, an online provider of learning content, for a certificate program called Practical Guide to Trading.

Promotional offerings include:

IBKR Refer a Friend Program Under the Refer a Friend program, we encourage existing customers to refer friends and family to IBKR. The referring customer can earn a flat fee payment of $200 while the new customer can receive up to $1,000 in IBKR stock. The specific program details and eligibility requirements are described on our website.

Analytical offerings on our platform include:

IBKR GlobalAnalystSMOur IBKR GlobalAnalystSM tool, designed for investors who are interested in international portfolio diversification, helps find new opportunities to diversify an investor’s portfolio and discover undervalued companies that may have greater growth potential. The relative value of global stocks by region, country, industry or individually can be compared, and metrics displayed in one of 27 currencies. IBKR GlobalAnalystSM can search across business sectors and allows for filtering by region, country and market capitalization.

PortfolioAnalyst®Our PortfolioAnalyst® reporting tool is designed to allow customers to evaluate the performance of their complete financial portfolio. The tool consolidates data from a customer’s investment, checking, savings, annuity, incentive plans and credit card accounts, calculates GIPS® verified time-weighted and money-weighted returns, and offers robust reporting and benchmarking capabilities.

IB Risk NavigatorSM We offer to all customers our real-time market risk management platform that unifies exposure across multiple asset classes around the globe. The system can identify overexposure to risk by starting at the portfolio level and drilling down into successively greater detail within multiple report views. Report data is updated every ten seconds or upon changes to portfolio composition. Predefined reports allow the summarization of a portfolio from different risk perspectives, providing views of Exposure, Value at Risk (“VaR”), Delta, Gamma, Vega and Theta, profit and loss, and position quantity measures. The system also offers customers the ability to modify positions through “what-if” scenarios that show hypothetical changes to the risk profile.

Mutual Fund/ETF Parser The Parser categorizes the individual component stocks within mutual funds and ETFs, giving an accurate, granular picture of the overall exposure to asset classes, industry sectors and companies.

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Portfolio Builder Portfolio Builder supports our customers in setting up an investment strategy based on research and rankings from top buy-side providers and fundamental data; use filters to define the universe of equities that will comprise their strategy and back-test their strategy using up to three years of historical performance; work in hypothetical mode to adjust the strategy until the historical performance meets their standards; and with the click of a button let the system create the orders to invest in a strategy and track its performance in their portfolio.

Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) Tools

IMPACT by Interactive BrokersSM IMPACT by Interactive BrokersSM (“IMPACT App”) is a unique, simple and intuitive mobile app that helps customers easily align their portfolio with their values, with a goal to help shape the future they wish to see. The IMPACT App allows customers to select their personal investment criteria from thirteen impact values and principles: Clean Air, Pure Water, Ocean Life, Land Health, Consumer Safety, Ethical Leadership, Gender Equality, Racial Equality, LGBTQ Inclusion, Company Transparency, Sustainable Product Lifecycle, Mindful Business Models and Fair Labor & Thriving Communities. Customers can also exclude investments based on business practices they would like to avoid. Based on these preferences, the IMPACT App will show customers how investment opportunities and their portfolio align with their beliefs.

Impact Dashboard – The Impact Dashboard helps customers to evaluate and invest in companies that align with their values. Customers can select the values they care about from a list ranging from clean air to consumer safety and racial equality, and measure how both individual securities and their overall portfolio measure up against their criteria.

ESG Scores – ESG Scores from Refinitiv give customers a new set of tools for making investment decisions based on more than just financial factors. Companies are scored along several dimensions, such as reducing emissions and supporting human rights, and customers can easily see how companies rank both overall and on each dimension.

Charitable Giving – IBKR GIVESM supports U.S. customers in making charitable donations directly from the IMPACT App. Using a comprehensive directory of U.S. charities and non-profit organizations from GuideStarTM by Candid, IBKR GIVESM lets customers easily donate to a charity matching their values, or search for a non-profit of their choice.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Portfolios – Interactive Advisors offers to customers a selection of thirteen value portfolios grouped into Better Planet, Social Justice and Responsible Management categories. Interactive Advisors also offers an additional four portfolios grouped under the Smart Beta ESG category. Customers can also customize any of their portfolios to exclude companies whose business practices concerns them.

Interactive AnalyticsSM and IB Option AnalyticsSM We offer our customers state-of-the-art tools, which include a customizable trading platform, advanced analytic tools and over 100 sophisticated order types and algorithms. We also provide a real-time option analytics window which displays values that reflect the rate of change of an option’s price with respect to a unit change in each of several risk dimensions.

Probability Lab® (Patent Pending) The Probability Lab® provides customers with an intuitive, visual method to analyze market participants’ future stock price forecasts based on current option prices. This tool compares a customer’s stock price forecast versus that of the market and scans the entire option universe for the highest Sharpe ratio multi-leg option strategies that take advantage of the customer’s forecast.

Goal Tracker Interactive Advisors' Goal Tracker projects the hypothetical performance of a portfolio and monitors how likely it is the portfolio might achieve the goal. Customers can adjust inputs, such as monthly contribution amount, goal target date, or the cost or outflow associated with the goal, to estimate the likelihood of achieving a goal.


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We cater to various customer groups with specific service needs.

For advisors, we offer:

Model Portfolios Model Portfolios offer advisors an efficient and time-saving approach to investing customer assets. They allow advisors to create groupings of financial instruments based on specific investment themes, and then invest customer funds into these models.

IBKR Allocation Order Tool – The IBKR Allocation Order Tool streamlines the creation, execution, and allocation of group orders. The tool provides advisors with a single screen to enter trade allocations quickly across many customer accounts, advisors or strategies; allocate total quantity or cash quantity for user-specified values proportionally or equally; and modify orders or allocations on the fly. In addition, customers can use the Allocation Order Tool to project, preview and allocate trades to take advantage of potential capital losses for all or some of an advisor’s invested customers.

ESG Impact Profile The ESG Impact Profile helps advisors understand customer preferences for socially responsible and impact investing. Advisors’ customers can select personal investment criteria from thirteen impact values and principles and exclude investments based on ten categories.

IBKR Client Risk Profile – IBKR Client Risk Profile is designed to help advisors determine the most suitable investments for their customers, based on each customer’s risk tolerance. This information is collected through a custom-designed questionnaire. Advisors can view the scores through the Advisor Portal and create custom pre-trade allocation groups and profiles in Trader WorkstationSM to place orders and allocate trades for customers with similar risk profiles.

For introducing brokers and advisors, we offer:

White Branding Our large financial advisor and broker-dealer customers may “white brand” our trading interface, account management and reports with their firm’s identity. Broker-dealer customers can also select from among our modular functionalities, such as order routing, trade reporting or clearing, on specific products or exchanges where they may not have up-to-date technology, to offer to their customers a complete global range of services and products.

For customers looking for online advisory services, we offer:

Interactive Advisors Interactive Advisors recruits registered financial advisors, vets them, analyzes their investment track records, and groups them by their risk profile. Investors who are interested in having their individual accounts robo-traded are grouped by their risk and return preferences. Investors can assign their accounts to be traded by one or more advisors. Interactive Advisors also offers our customers Smart Beta Portfolios which combine the benefits of actively managed fund stock selection techniques with passive ETFs low-cost automation to provide broad market exposure and potentially higher returns, as well as Socially Responsible Investing.

 

Technology

Our proprietary technology is the key to our success. We believe that integrating our system with electronic exchanges and market centers worldwide results in transparency, liquidity and efficiencies of scale. Together with the IB SmartRoutingSM system and our low execution costs, this approach reduces overall transaction costs to our IBKR ProSM customers and, in turn, increases our transaction volume and profits (customers who elect to use our IBKR LiteSM offering do not take advantage of our IB SmartRoutingSM technology). Over the past four decades, we have developed an integrated trading system and communications network and have positioned our company as an efficient conduit for the global flow of risk capital across asset and product classes on electronic marketplaces around the world, permitting us to have one of the lowest cost structures in the industry. We believe that developing, maintaining and continuing to enhance our proprietary technology provides us and our customers with the competitive advantage of being able to adapt quickly to the changing environment of our industry and to take advantage of opportunities presented by new exchanges, products, pricing mechanisms or regulatory changes before our competitors.

Our proprietary technology infrastructure enables us to provide our customers with the ability to execute trades at among the lowest execution costs in the industry for comparable services. Customer trades are both automatically captured and reported in real time in our system. Our customers trade on more than 150 electronic exchanges and market centers in 33 countries around the world. These exchanges and market centers are all partially or fully electronic, meaning that customers can buy or sell a product traded on that exchange via an electronic link from their computer or mobile device through our system to the exchange. We offer our products and services through a global communications network that is designed to provide secure, reliable and timely access to the most current market information. We provide our customers with a variety of means to connect to our brokerage systems, including cross connects, dedicated point-to-point data lines, extranets, virtual private networks and the Internet.

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Specifically, our customers receive worldwide electronic access through our Trader WorkstationSM (our real-time Java-based trading platform), our proprietary Application Programming Interface (“API”), our IBKR Mobile app, our customer-portal-based Quick Trade or industry standard Financial Information Exchange (“FIX”) connectivity. Customers who want a professional quality trading application with a sophisticated user interface utilize our Trader WorkstationSM, which can be accessed through a desktop or variety of mobile devices. Customers interested in developing programmatic trading utilize our API, which supports multiple programming languages. Large institutions with FIX infrastructure prefer to use our FIX solution for seamless integration of their existing order gathering and reporting applications.

While many brokerages, including some online brokerages, rely on manual procedures to execute many day-to-day functions, we employ proprietary technology to automate, or otherwise facilitate, many of the following functions:

account opening process;

order routing and best execution;

seamless trading across all types of securities, futures and currencies around the world from one account;

order types and analytical tools offered to customers;

securities lending and short stock availability;

delivery of customer information, such as confirmations, customizable real-time account statements and audit trails;

compliance;

customer service; and

risk management through automated real-time credit management of all new orders and margin monitoring.

Research and Development

One of our core strengths is our expertise in the rapid development and deployment of automated technology for the financial markets. Our core software technology is developed internally, and we do not generally rely on outside vendors for software development or maintenance. To achieve optimal performance from our systems and in response to changing market conditions, we are continuously rewriting and upgrading our software. Use of the best available technology not only improves our performance but also helps us attract and retain talented developers. Our software development costs are relatively low because the employees who oversee the development of the software are often the same employees who design the application, evaluate its performance, and participate along with our quality assurance professionals in our robust quality assurance testing procedures. The involvement of our developers in each of these processes enables us to add features and further refine our software rapidly.

Our internally-developed, fully integrated trading and risk management systems are unique and transact across all product classes. These systems have the flexibility to assimilate new exchanges and new product classes without compromising transaction speed or fault tolerance. Fault tolerance, or the ability to maintain system performance despite exchange malfunctions or hardware failures, is crucial to ensuring best executions for our customers. Our systems are designed to detect exchange malfunctions and quickly take corrective actions by re-routing pending orders when possible.

Our company is technology-focused, and our management team is hands-on and technology-savvy. Most members of the management team participate in algorithm design and supervise the creation of detailed specifications for new applications. The development queue is prioritized and highly disciplined. Progress on programming initiatives is generally tracked on a bi-weekly basis by the steering and other committees consisting of senior executives. This enables us to prioritize key initiatives and achieve rapid results. All new business involves a software development project. We generally do not engage in any business that we cannot automate and incorporate into our platform prior to entering the business.

The rapid software development and deployment cycle is achieved by our ability to leverage a highly integrated, object-oriented development environment. The software code is modular, with each object providing a specific function and being reusable in multiple applications. New software releases are tracked and tested with proprietary automated testing tools. We are not hindered by disparate and often limiting legacy systems assembled through acquisitions. Virtually all our software has been developed and maintained with a unified purpose.


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For over four decades, we have built and continuously refined our automated and integrated, real-time systems for world-wide trading, risk management, clearing and cash management, among others. We have also assembled a proprietary connectivity network between us and exchanges and market centers around the world. Efficiency and speed in performing prescribed functions are always crucial requirements for our systems. As a result, our systems can assimilate market data, disseminate market prices to customers and update risk management information in real time, across tradable products in all available product classes and across multiple geographies.

Risk Management Activities

Our risk management policies are developed and implemented by our steering committee, which is chaired by our Chief Executive Officer and comprised of senior executives of our various operating subsidiaries. The core of our risk management philosophy is the utilization of our fully integrated computer systems to perform critical risk-management activities on a real-time basis. Our integrated risk management seeks to ensure that each customer’s positions are continuously credit checked and brought into compliance if equity falls short of margin requirements, curtailing bad debt losses.

We calculate margin requirements for each of our customers on a real-time basis across all product classes (stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and other financial instruments) and across all currencies. Recognizing that our customers generally are experienced investors, we expect our customers to manage their positions proactively and we provide tools to facilitate our customers’ position management. However, if a customer’s equity falls below what is required to support that customer’s margin, we will automatically liquidate positions on a real-time basis to bring the customer’s account into margin compliance. We do this to protect ourselves, as well as the customer, from excessive losses. These systems further contribute to our low-cost structure. The entire credit management process is automated.

As a safeguard, all liquidations are displayed on custom built liquidation monitoring screens that are part of the toolset our risk management professionals use to minimize market exposure. In addition, our technical staff uses these displays to monitor the performance of our risk systems at all times across all open markets around the world. In the event our systems absorb erroneous market data from exchanges, which prompts liquidations, our risk specialists have the capability to temporarily halt liquidations that meet specific criteria. The liquidation halt function is highly restricted.

Our customer interface includes color coding on the account screen and pop-up warning messages to notify customers that they are approaching their margin limits. This feature allows customers to take action, such as entering margin reducing trades, to avoid having their positions liquidated under our automated liquidation algorithm. These tools and real-time margining aid our customers in understanding their trading risk at any moment of the day and help us maintain low commissions.

We actively manage our global currency exposure on a continuous basis by maintaining our equity in a basket of currencies we call the GLOBAL. We define the GLOBAL as consisting of fractions of a U.S. dollar, Euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Swiss franc, Chinese renminbi, Indian rupee, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar and Hong Kong dollar. The currencies comprising the GLOBAL and their relative proportions can change over time. Additional information regarding our currency diversification strategy is set forth in “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk” in Part II, Item 7A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

With respect to our remaining market making activities, we employ certain hedging and risk management techniques to protect us from a severe market dislocation. Our automated system evaluates and monitors the risks inherent in our portfolio, assimilates market data and reevaluates the outstanding quotes in our portfolio many times per second. Our model automatically rebalances our positions throughout each trading day to manage risk exposures. Under risk management policies implemented and monitored primarily through our computer systems, reports to management, including risk profiles, profit and loss analysis and trading performance, are prepared on real-time and periodical bases. Although our remaining market making activities are completely automated, the trading process and our risk are monitored by a team of individuals who, in real-time, observe various risk parameters of our consolidated positions.

Operational Controls

We have automated the full cycle of controls surrounding our businesses. Key automated controls include the following:

Our technical operations team continuously monitors our network and the proper functioning of each of our nodes (exchanges and market centers, internet service providers (“ISPs”), leased customer lines and our own data centers) around the world.

Our real-time credit manager software provides pre and post-execution controls by:

testing every customer order to ensure that the customer’s account holds enough equity to support the execution of the order, rejecting the order if equity is insufficient or directing the order to an execution destination without delay if equity is sufficient; and

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continuously updating a customer account’s equity and margin requirements and, if the account’s equity falls below its minimum margin requirements, automatically issuing liquidating orders in a smart sequence designed to minimize the impact on the account’s equity.

Our clearing system captures trades in real-time and performs automated reconciliation of trades and positions, corporate action processing, customer account transfer, options exercise, securities lending and inventory management, allowing us to effectively manage operational risk.

Our accounting system operates with automated data feeds from clearing and banking systems, allowing us to produce financial statements for all parts of our business every day by mid-day on the day following trade date.

Our market making system continuously evaluates securities and futures products in which we provide bid and offer quotes and changes our bids and offers in such a way as to maintain an overall hedge and a low-risk profile. The speed of communicating with exchanges and market centers is maximized through continuous software and network engineering maintenance, thereby allowing us to achieve real-time controls over market exposure.

Transaction Processing

Our transaction processing is automated over the full life cycle of a trade. Our fully automated IB SmartRoutingSM system searches for the best possible combination of prices available at the time a customer order is placed and immediately seeks to execute that order electronically or send it where the order has the highest possibility of execution at the best price. Our market making software generates and disseminates to the exchanges and market centers, in which we still operate, continuous bid and offer quotes on tradable, exchange-listed products.

When a trade is executed, our systems capture and deliver this information back to the source, either to the customer via the brokerage system or the market making system, generally within a fraction of a second. Simultaneously, the trade record is written into our clearing system, where it flows through a chain of control accounts that allow us to reconcile trades, positions and money until the final settlement occurs. Our integrated software tracks other important activities, such as dividends, corporate actions, options exercises, securities lending, margining, risk management and funds receipt and disbursement.

IB SmartRoutingSM

IB SmartRoutingSM searches for the best destination price in view of the displayed prices, sizes and accumulated statistical information about the behavior of market centers at the time an order is placed, then immediately seeks to execute that order electronically. Unlike other smart routers, IB SmartRoutingSM never relinquishes control of the order, and constantly searches for the best price. It continuously evaluates fast-changing market conditions and dynamically re-routes all or parts of the order seeking to achieve optimal execution. For example, for U.S. options, IB SmartRoutingSM can represent each leg of a spread order independently, if needed, and in that event enters each leg at the best possible venue. IB SmartRouting AutorecoverySM re-routes a customer’s U.S. options order in the case of an exchange malfunction, and we absorb the risk of double executions. In addition, IB SmartRoutingSM checks each new order to see if it could be executed against any of its pending orders. As the system continues to gain more users, this feature becomes more important for customers in a world of multiple exchanges, market centers and penny-priced orders because it increases the possibility of best executions for our customers ahead of customers of other brokers. As a result of this feature, our customers have a greater chance of executing limit orders and can do so sooner than those who use other routers.

Clearing and Margining

Our activities in the U.S. are entirely self-cleared. We are a clearing member of OCC (formerly known as the Options Clearing Corporation), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Clearing House, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation and ICE Clear U.S. In addition, we are fully or partially self-cleared in Canada, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, India, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia.

Customers

We currently service approximately 1.68 million cleared customer accounts and have customers residing in over 200 countries and territories around the world. Our target customer is one who requires the latest in trading technology and worldwide access, and who expects low overall transaction costs. Our customers are mainly comprised of individuals, trading desk professionals, electronic retail brokers, hedge funds, mutual funds, financial advisors, proprietary trading firms and introducing brokers and banks that require global access.


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Our customers primarily fall into two groups based on services provided: cleared customers which are the majority of our customers and non-cleared customers, the latter also known as trade execution customers.

Cleared Customers: We provide trade execution and clearing services to our cleared customers who are generally attracted to our low commissions, low financing rates, high interest paid (when available) and best price execution (or, under our IBKR LiteSM offering, commission-free trades). Our cleared customers include institutional and individual traders and investors, hedge funds, financial advisors and introducing brokers.

Trade Execution Customers: We offer trade execution for customers who choose to clear with another prime broker or a custodian bank; these customers take advantage of our low commissions for trade execution as well as our best price execution. Our non-cleared customers include online brokers and the customer trading units of commercial banks. These customers are attracted by our IB SmartRoutingSM technology as well as our direct access to stock, options, futures, forex, bond, mutual fund and ETF markets worldwide.

Human Capital

As of December 31, 2021, we had 2,571 full-time employees worldwide. Our goal is to attract, develop and retain key employees to achieve our strategic objectives. We offer a comprehensive benefits program, including stock incentives, to all of our employees and design our compensation programs to attract, retain and motivate employees. We believe that our relations with our employees are good. Our employees are not covered by any collective bargaining agreements.

We take pride in our technology-focused company culture and embrace it as one of our fundamental strengths. We continually improve our technology and we minimize corporate hierarchy to facilitate efficient communication among employees. We have assembled what we believe is a highly talented team and we expect to continue to provide significant rewards for our employees who provide substantial value to us and the world’s financial markets.

Environmental, Social and Governance

The Company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) Committee, established in early 2020, is responsible for advising on the Company’s ESG strategy, including recommendations on the development of new products and services for our customers, tracking ESG initiatives throughout the Company, and providing training to the Company’s Board of Directors and employees on ESG topics.

New ESG Tools and Features for our Customers

Over the last two years we significantly expanded our suite of sustainable trading products by creating new tools and adding ESG features into existing ones. Using these offerings, our customers can view their investments not just through a financial lens, but also through ESG and “impact” lenses. These tools provide conscientious investors with a richer, personalized set of data to make more informed investment decisions. These new tools and features include the IMPACT App, the Impact Dashboard, ESG Scores, Charitable Giving – IBKR GIVESM, and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Portfolios, as described above in this Item 1 in the “Nature of Operations” section.

Social Initiatives

We recently added to the robust suite of benefits we offer our employees, by introducing a parental leave policy that increases paid leave time for same sex, opposite sex and domestic partnership couples. We have also been enhancing benefits related to childbearing and adoption for all employees.

Giving back to the communities where we operate is also important to us. For example, we donated more than $5 million to assist efforts to provide food and support for people affected by the coronavirus as well as to advance medical solutions.

Diversity and Inclusion (“D&I”)

D&I is an integral part of our ESG initiatives. We believe that a diverse leadership and workforce enriches our employees’ and customers’ experience. As a global company, we have a diverse workforce worldwide.

Our recruiting process is an essential part of our D&I initiatives. We broadened the use of specialty recruitment platforms that include female, veteran, and minority-focused candidate pools. We also redesigned our job postings with a view to promoting and attracting a more diverse workforce. We added diversity to our Board of Directors by appointing a director who is not only the Board’s first female director but also its first Asian member. We have plans underway to continue broadening the composition and perspective of our Board of Directors.

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Environment

We have taken steps to reduce our global carbon footprint and implement sustainable practices that protect the climate, such as transitioning office materials and supplies to focus on products that can be disposed of sustainably and to reduce waste management. Many of our office locations have adopted recycling programs, which we promote through recycling campaigns with mindful tips for our employees to reduce waste and consumption of water and electricity.

We also collect direct and indirect carbon production data for our offices around the world to measure our carbon footprint. We have begun our carbon offsetting initiatives through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (“REC”) and making investments in renewable energy projects. All our data centers worldwide use green power provided directly through the local utility or maintain RECs to ensure a carbon-neutral footprint.

Competition

The market for electronic brokerage services is rapidly evolving and highly competitive and we expect it to remain so. The environment in which we operate has a broad array of competitors ranging from large integrated banks to online brokers to early-stage private companies. Our primary competitors, both in the U.S. and abroad, are other companies that provide electronic brokerage, prime brokerage, and financial advisor and introducing broker products and services. We compete based on numerous factors, including transaction execution, customer experience, products and services, technological excellence and innovation, reputation, global access and price. Since our inception, we have been driven to transforming the electronic brokerage business through automation and innovation, with software development, product improvement, expansion of products and geographies, and management focus dedicated to this mission. We believe these are significant differentiators that set us apart from our competitors.

We experience competition in hiring and retaining qualified employees. The market for qualified personnel in our business is highly competitive, and at various times the demand in the market for different functions and roles can become especially high, which may oblige us to pay more to attract and retain talent. We also compete on non-monetary forms of compensation, providing what we believe to be a robust set of benefits to our employees.

Regulation

Our securities and derivatives businesses are extensively regulated by U.S. federal and state regulators, foreign regulatory agencies, numerous exchanges and self-regulatory organizations of which our subsidiaries are members. In the current era of heightened regulation of financial institutions, we expect to incur increasing compliance costs, along with the industry as a whole. Our approach has been to build many of our regulatory and compliance functions into our integrated order routing, custodial, customer onboarding and transaction processing systems.

Overview

As registered U.S. broker-dealers, Interactive Brokers LLC (“IB LLC”), IBKR Securities Services LLC (formerly, Timber Hill LLC) (“IBKRSS”) and Interactive Brokers Corp. are subject to the rules and regulations of the Exchange Act, and as members of various exchanges, we are also subject to such exchanges’ rules and requirements. Additionally, IB LLC is subject to the Commodity Exchange Act and rules promulgated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) and the various commodity exchanges of which it is a member. We are also subject to the requirements of various self-regulatory organizations such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (“CME”) and the National Futures Association (“NFA”). Our foreign subsidiaries are similarly regulated under the laws and institutional frameworks of the countries in which they operate.

U.S. broker-dealers and futures commission merchants are subject to laws, rules and regulations that cover all aspects of the securities and derivatives business, including:

sales methods;

“know your customer” requirements;

trade practices;

use and safekeeping of customers’ funds and securities;

capital structure;

risk management;

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record-keeping;

financing of customers’ purchases; and

conduct of directors, officers and employees.

In addition, the businesses that we may conduct are limited by our arrangements with and our oversight by regulators. Participation in new business lines, including trading of new products or participation on new exchanges or in new countries often requires governmental and/or exchange approvals, which may take significant time and resources. As a result, we may be prevented from entering new businesses that may be profitable in a timely manner, or at all.

As certain of our subsidiaries are members of FINRA, we are subject to certain regulations regarding changes in control of our ownership. FINRA Rule 1017 generally provides that FINRA approval must be obtained in connection with any transaction resulting in a change in control of a member firm. FINRA defines control as ownership of 25% or more of the firm’s equity by a single entity or person and would include a change in control of a parent company. As a result of these regulations, our future efforts to sell shares or raise additional capital may be delayed or prohibited by FINRA.

Net Capital Rule

The SEC, FINRA, CFTC and various other regulatory agencies within the U.S. have stringent rules and regulations with respect to the maintenance of specific levels of net capital by regulated entities. Generally, a broker-dealer’s capital is its net worth plus qualified subordinated debt less deductions for certain types of assets. The Net Capital Rule requires that at least a minimum part of a broker-dealer’s assets be maintained in a relatively liquid form.

If these net capital rules are changed or expanded, or if there is an unusually large charge against our net capital, our operations that require the intensive use of capital would be limited. A large operating loss or charge against our net capital could adversely affect our ability to expand or even maintain these current levels of business, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.

The U.S. regulators impose rules that require notification when net capital falls below certain predefined criteria. These rules also dictate the ratio of debt-to-equity in the regulatory capital composition of a broker-dealer, and constrain the ability of a broker-dealer to expand its business under certain circumstances. If a firm fails to maintain the required net capital, it may be subject to suspension or revocation of registration by the applicable regulatory agency, and suspension or expulsion by these regulators could ultimately lead to the firm’s liquidation. Additionally, the Net Capital Rule and certain FINRA rules impose requirements that may have the effect of prohibiting a broker-dealer from distributing or withdrawing capital and requiring prior notice to U.S. regulators and approval from FINRA for certain capital withdrawals.

Our foreign subsidiaries are similarly regulated with regard to capital requirements in support of their brokerage activities.

As of December 31, 2021, aggregate excess regulatory capital for all of the operating subsidiaries was $7.0 billion.

IB LLC is subject to the Uniform Net Capital Rule (Rule 15c3-1) under the Exchange Act and to the CFTC’s minimum financial requirements (Regulation 1.17) under the Commodities Exchange Act. Additionally, Interactive Brokers Canada Inc. (“IBC”) is subject to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”) risk adjusted capital requirement; Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited (“IBUK”) is subject to the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) financial resources requirement; Interactive Brokers Ireland Limited (“IBIE”) is subject to the Central Bank of Ireland (“CBI”) financial resources requirement; Interactive Brokers Luxembourg SARL (“IBLUX”) is subject to the Luxembourg Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (“CSSF”) financial resources requirement; IBKR Financial Services AG (“IBKRFS”) is subject to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (“FINMA”) eligible equity requirement; Interactive Brokers Central Europe Zrt. (“IBCE”) is subject to the Hungarian National Bank (“MNB”) financial resource requirement; Interactive Brokers (India) Private Limited (“IBI”) is subject to the National Stock Exchange of India net capital requirements; Interactive Brokers Hong Kong Limited (“IBHK”) is subject to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) financial resource requirement; Interactive Brokers Securities Japan, Inc. (“IBSJ”) is subject to the Japanese Financial Services Agency (“FSA”) capital requirements; Interactive Brokers Singapore Pte. Ltd. (“IBSG”) is subject to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (“MAS”) capital requirements; and Interactive Brokers Australia Pty Limited (“IBA”) is subject to the Australian Securities Exchange (“ASX”) liquid capital requirement.


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The table below summarizes capital, capital requirements and excess regulatory capital as of December 31, 2021.

Net Capital/

Eligible Equity

Requirement

Excess

(in millions)

IB LLC

$

5,581

$

1,001

$

4,580

IBKRFS

598

12

586

IBHK

860

278

582

Other regulated operating subsidiaries

1,553

276

1,277

$

8,592

$

1,567

$

7,025

As of December 31, 2021, all of the operating subsidiaries were in compliance with their respective regulatory capital requirements. For additional information regarding our net capital requirements see Note 16 – “Regulatory Requirements” to the audited consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Protection of Customer Assets

To conduct customer activities, IB LLC is obligated under rules mandated by its primary regulators, the SEC and the CFTC, to segregate cash or qualified securities belonging to customers. In accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, IB LLC is required to maintain separate bank accounts for the exclusive benefit of customers. In accordance with the Commodity Exchange Act, IB LLC is required to segregate all monies, securities and property received from commodities customers in specially designated accounts. IBC, IBUK, IBIE, IBLUX, IBCE, IBI, IBHK, IBSJ, IBSG and IBA are subject to similar requirements within their respective jurisdictions.

To further enhance the protection of our customers’ assets, since 2011 IB LLC has been performing daily (i.e., instead of the required weekly) customer reserve computations along with daily adjustments of the money set aside in safekeeping for our customers.

Supervision and Compliance

Our Compliance department supports and seeks to ensure proper operations of our business in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements. The philosophy of the Compliance department, and the Company as a whole, is to build automated systems to try to minimize manual steps in the compliance process and then to augment these systems with experienced staff members who apply their judgment where needed. We have built automated systems to handle wide-ranging compliance issues such as trade and audit trail reporting, financial operations reporting, enforcement of short sale rules, enforcement of margin rules and pattern day trading restrictions, review of employee correspondence, archival of required records, execution quality and order routing reports, approval and documentation of new customer accounts, surveillance of customer trading for market manipulation or abuse or violations of exchange rules, and anti-money laundering and anti-fraud surveillance. Our automated operations and automated compliance systems provide substantial efficiencies to our Compliance department. As part of this continuing effort, we have implemented a new case management and surveillance system and increased our Compliance staffing over the past several years to meet the growing regulatory burdens faced by all industry participants.

Our electronic brokerage subsidiaries have Chief Compliance Officers who report to the Chief Executive Officer or business head for their subsidiary, and to the Global Chief Regulatory Officer (or regional Compliance Head). In the U.S., the Chief Compliance Officer and certain other senior staff members are FINRA and NFA registered principals with supervisory responsibility over the compliance aspects of our businesses. Similar roles are undertaken by staff in certain non-U.S. locations as well. Staff members in the Compliance department and in other departments are also registered with FINRA, NFA or other regulatory organizations.

Patriot Act and Increased Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) and “Know Your Customer” Obligations

Registered broker-dealers traditionally have been subject to a variety of rules that require that they “know their customers” and monitor their customers’ transactions for suspicious activities. Under the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (the “USA Patriot Act”), broker-dealers are subject to even more stringent requirements. Likewise, the SEC, CFTC, foreign regulators, and the various exchanges and self-regulatory organizations, of which our operating subsidiaries are members, have passed numerous AML and customer due diligence rules. Significant criminal and civil penalties can be imposed for violations of the USA Patriot Act, and significant fines and regulatory penalties can also be imposed for violations of other governmental and self-regulatory organization AML rules.

As required by the USA Patriot Act and other rules, we have established comprehensive anti-money laundering and customer identification procedures, designated AML Compliance Officers for each electronic brokerage subsidiary, trained our employees and conducted independent audits of our programs. Our anti-money laundering screening is conducted using a mix of automated and

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manual reviews and has been structured to comply with regulations in various jurisdictions. We collect required information through our new account opening process and screen accounts against databases for the purposes of identity verification and for review of potential negative information and appearance on government sanction lists, including the Office of Foreign Assets and Control, Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons lists and several other global, U.N., EU and other non-U.S. sanction lists. Additionally, we have designed and implemented restrictions to prevent certain types of high-risk activity, including potentially manipulative patterns of trading or higher risk patterns of money movement. We generate and review a sophisticated suite of surveillance reports and queues to identify potential money laundering, market manipulation or abuse, fraud and other suspicious activities.

Dodd-Frank Reform Act

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act imposes strict reporting and disclosure requirements on the financial services industry. We maintain a robust system for evidence of our supervisory review of controls over financial reporting and management monitors accounting and regulatory rulemaking developments for their potential effect on our financial statements and internal controls over financial reporting.

Business Continuity Planning

Federal regulators and industry self-regulatory organizations have passed a series of rules in the past several years requiring regulated firms to maintain business continuity plans that describe what actions firms would take in the event of a disaster (such as a fire, natural disaster or terrorist incident) that might significantly disrupt operations. We have developed business continuity plans that describe steps that we and our employees would take in the event of various scenarios. We have built backup capabilities for key operations performed at our regional offices in North America, Europe and Asia that would be utilized in the event of a significant outage at our main data center or primary office locations. In addition, we have strengthened our technical infrastructure and have built redundancy of systems so that certain operations can be handled from multiple offices or remotely. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have substantially enhanced this infrastructure and our remote access capabilities so that most employees, including all with critical job functions, can work remotely. We continually evaluate opportunities to further our business continuity planning efforts.

Foreign Regulation

Our international subsidiaries are subject to extensive regulation in the various jurisdictions where they have operations. The most significant of our international subsidiaries are: IBC, registered to do business in Canada as an investment dealer; IBUK, registered to do business in the U.K. as a broker; IBIE, registered in Ireland as an investment firm; IBLUX, registered to do business in Luxembourg as an investment firm; IBKRFS, registered to do business in Switzerland as a securities dealer; IBCE, registered in Hungary as an investment firm; IBI, registered to do business in India as a stock broker; IBHK, registered to do business in Hong Kong as a securities dealer; IBSJ, registered in Japan as a financial instruments firm; IBSG, registered in Singapore as a capital markets firm; and IBA, registered to do business in Australia as a securities dealer and futures broker. See the “Net Capital” section above in this Item 1, for regulatory requirements related to our foreign subsidiaries.


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Executive Officers and Directors of Interactive Brokers Group, Inc.

The table below presents the names, ages and positions of our current directors and executive officers as of December 31, 2021.

Name

Age

Position

Thomas Peterffy

77

Chairman of the Board of Directors

Earl H. Nemser

75

Vice Chairman and Director

Milan Galik

55

Chief Executive Officer, President and Director

Paul J. Brody

61

Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Secretary and Director

Thomas A. Frank

66

Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Lawrence E. Harris

65

Director

Gary Katz

61

Director

John M. Damgard

82

Director

Philip Uhde

36

Director

Nicole Yuen

59

Director

William Peterffy

32

Director

Thomas Peterffy – Mr. Peterffy has been at the forefront of applying computer technology to automate trading and brokerage functions since he emigrated from Hungary to the United States in 1965. In 1977, after purchasing a seat on the American Stock Exchange and trading as an individual marker maker in equity options, Mr. Peterffy was among the first to apply a computerized mathematical model to continuously value equity option prices. By 1986, Mr. Peterffy developed and employed a fully integrated, automated market making system for stocks, options and futures. As this pioneering system extended around the globe, online brokerage functions were added and, in 1993, Interactive Brokers was formed.

Milan Galik – Mr. Galik joined us in 1990 as a software developer and has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company since October 2019. Mr. Galik has also served as President of the Company and IBG LLC since October 2014. Mr. Galik served as Senior Vice President, Software Development of IBG LLC from October 2003 to October 2014. In addition, Mr. Galik has served as Vice President of Timber Hill LLC since April 1998 and serves as a member of the board of directors of the Boston Options Exchange. Mr. Galik received a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Technical University of Budapest in 1990.

Earl H. Nemser – Mr. Nemser has been our Vice Chairman since November 2006. Mr. Nemser has been the Vice Chairman of the Company since 1988 and also serves as a director and/or officer for various subsidiaries of IBG LLC. Mr. Nemser serves as an Independent Advisor to the law firm Dechert LLP. Mr. Nemser served as Special Counsel to Dechert LLP from January 2005 to October 2018. Prior to such time Mr. Nemser served as Partner at the law firms of Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP from 1995 to December 2004 and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP prior to 1995. Mr. Nemser received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from New York University in 1967 and a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Boston University School of Law in 1970.

Paul J. Brody – Mr. Brody has been our Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary since November 2006. Mr. Brody joined the Company in 1987 and has served as Chief Financial Officer of IBG LLC since December 2003. Mr. Brody serves as a director and/or officer for various subsidiaries of IBG LLC. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Brody served as a director, and for a portion of the time as member Vice Chairman, of The Options Clearing Corporation, of which Interactive Brokers LLC and Timber Hill LLC are members. Mr. Brody also served as a director of Quadriserv Inc., an electronic securities lending platform provider, from 2009 to 2015. Mr. Brody received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Cornell University in 1982.

Thomas A. Frank – Dr. Frank joined us in 1985 and has served since July 1999 as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Interactive Brokers LLC. In addition, Dr. Frank has served as Vice President of Timber Hill LLC since December 1990. Dr. Frank has served as a director of The Options Clearing Corporation, since 2015. Dr. Frank received a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985.

Lawrence E. Harris – Dr. Harris has been a director since July 2007. Dr. Harris is a professor of Finance and Business Economics at the University of Southern California, where he holds the Fred V. Keenan Chair in Finance at the Marshall School of Business. Dr. Harris also serves as trustee of the Clipper Fund, director of the Selected Funds, and as the research coordinator of the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance. Dr. Harris formerly served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Dr. Harris earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, and is a CFA charterholder. Dr. Harris is an expert in the economics of securities market microstructure and the uses of transactions data in financial research. Dr. Harris has written extensively about trading rules, transaction costs, index markets, and market regulation. Dr. Harris is also the author of the widely respected textbook Trading and Exchanges: Market Microstructure for Practitioners.

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Gary Katz – Mr. Katz has been a director since January 2017. Mr. Katz was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Securities Exchange (“ISE”) and a co-founder of ISE. Mr. Katz was one of the principal developers of the unique options market structure – an auction market on an electronic platform – used by all three options exchanges; ISE, ISE Gemini and ISE Mercury and was named as inventor or co-inventor on six patents that the ISE received or applied for relating to its proprietary trading system and technology. Mr. Katz served on the Executive Board of Eurex and on the Board of Directors of The Options Clearing Corporation and chaired the Board’s newly formed technology committee. Mr. Katz also served on the Board of Directors of Direct Edge. Mr. Katz graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in Statistics with Distinction and a bachelor’s degree from Queens College. Mr. Katz is currently chairman of the board of Farmer’s Pantry LLC, a start-up in the consumer goods industry and also serves on the board of STRS, LLC, a start-up in the financial industry meeting the unique needs of credit card issuers and merchants. Mr. Katz is also Chairman of Mercaz Academy, a private elementary school located in central Long Island, New York.

John M. Damgard – Mr. Damgard has been a director since December 2018. Mr. Damgard served as President of the Futures Industry Association (“FIA”) from 1982 to 2013 and was a founder, past president and a member of the board of the Institute for Financial Markets. Prior to joining FIA in 1982, Mr. Damgard directed the Washington office of ACLI International, a leading commodity merchant firm active in cash and futures markets worldwide. Mr. Damgard served as Deputy Assistant and Acting Assistant Secretary of Agriculture and was responsible for the major marketing and regulatory functions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”). While at the USDA, Mr. Damgard led the Administration’s efforts during the creation of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a new independent regulatory agency. Mr. Damgard studied at the University of Virginia for two years and received a B.A. from Knox College in 1964 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Economics.

Philip Uhde – Mr. Uhde is a private investor. In 2012 Mr. Uhde founded, and from 2012 through 2020 he managed, Echinus Partners, an approximately $1.5 billion investment partnership making concentrated, long-term investments in the public markets. Mr. Uhde has led many investments in financial services companies, including Moody’s, S&P Global, Fimalac (Fitch), Visa, Mercadolibre, Guidewire and IBG, Inc. Prior to founding Echinus Partners, Mr. Uhde was a member of the investment team at SPO Partners, an investment partnership founded in 1969. Mr. Uhde received a BA in Economics and East Asian Studies from Yale University in 2008. During the course of his ownership of IBKR, Mr. Uhde has made in-depth studies into various aspects of the Company’s business with numerous recommendations to management.

William Peterffy – Mr. William Peterffy is the Chair of the Investment Committee of the Peterffy Foundation where he oversees its investment portfolio. Mr. William Peterffy joined IBG LLC in 2019 to lead its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts. Mr. William Peterffy joined the Company’s Board of Directors as an observer in 2019. Mr. William Peterffy is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Collective Heritage Institute (commonly known as Bioneers) and focuses his efforts on sustainability issues. Prior to joining IBG LLC, Mr. William Peterffy worked as an investment analyst within the hedge fund industry. As a result of these professional and other experiences, Mr. William Peterffy possesses particular knowledge and experience in ESG issues and provides diversity of viewpoint to the Board by virtue of his experience that strengthens the Board’s collective knowledge, capabilities and experience. Mr. William Peterffy is the son of our Chairman, Mr. Thomas Peterffy.

Nicole Yuen – Ms. Yuen is a seasoned investment banker with more than 20 years of experience. Ms. Yuen most recently served as Managing Director, Head of Equities – North Asia and Vice Chairman – Greater China for Credit Suisse. During Ms. Yuen’s 6-year tenure, she led the build-out of Credit Suisse’s brokerage business in mainland China and oversaw the bank’s equities business in North Asia. Ms. Yuen is a non-executive director of Aberdeen New Dawn Investment Trust PLC.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS

We face a variety of risks that are substantial and inherent in our businesses, including market, liquidity, credit, operational, legal and regulatory. In addition to the risks identified elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, the following risk factors apply to our business results of operations and financial condition:

Risks Related to Our Company Structure

Future sales of our common stock in the public market could lower our stock price, and any additional capital raised by us through the sale of equity or convertible securities may dilute your ownership in us.

The members of Holdings have the right to cause the redemption of their Holdings membership interests over time in connection with offerings of shares of our common stock. We intend to sell additional shares of common stock in public offerings in the future, which may include offerings of our common stock to finance future purchases of IBG LLC membership interests which, in turn, will finance corresponding redemptions of Holdings membership interests. These offerings and related transactions are anticipated to occur at least annually into the future. The size and occurrence of these offerings may be affected by market conditions. We may also issue additional shares of common stock or convertible debt securities to finance future acquisitions or business combinations. We currently have approximately 98 million outstanding shares of common stock. Assuming no anti-dilution adjustments based on combinations or

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divisions of our common stock, the offerings referred to above could result in the issuance by us of up to an additional approximately 320 million shares of common stock. It is possible, however, that such shares could be issued in one or a few large transactions.

We cannot predict the size of future issuances of our common stock or the effect, if any, that future issuances and sales of shares of our common stock may have on the market price of our common stock. Sales of substantial amounts of our common stock (including shares issued in connection with an acquisition), or the perception that such sales could occur, may cause the market price of our common stock to decline.

Control by Mr. Thomas Peterffy of a majority of the combined voting power of our common stock may give rise to conflicts of interests and could discourage a change of control that other stockholders may favor, which could negatively affect our stock price, and adversely affect stockholders in other ways.

Mr. Thomas Peterffy, our founder and Chairman, and his affiliates beneficially own approximately 90.5% of the economic interests and all of the voting interests in Holdings, which owns all of our Class B common stock, representing approximately 76.5% of the combined voting power of all classes of our voting stock. As a result, Mr. Peterffy has the ability to elect all of the members of our board of directors and thereby to control our management and affairs, including determinations with respect to acquisitions, dispositions, material expansions or contractions of our business, entry into new lines of business, borrowings, issuances of common stock or other securities, and the declaration and payment of dividends on our common stock. In addition, Mr. Peterffy is able to determine the outcome of all matters requiring stockholder approval and will be able to cause or prevent a change of control of our company or a change in the composition of our board of directors and could preclude any unsolicited acquisition of our company. The concentration of ownership could discourage potential takeover attempts that other stockholders may favor and could deprive stockholders of an opportunity to receive a premium for their common stock as part of a sale of our company and this may adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

Moreover, because of Mr. Peterffy’s substantial ownership, we are eligible to be and are, treated as a “controlled company” for purposes of the Nasdaq Marketplace Rules. As a result, we are not required by Nasdaq to have a majority of independent directors or to maintain Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees composed entirely of independent directors to continue to list the shares of our common stock on Nasdaq. Our Compensation Committee is comprised of Messrs. Thomas Peterffy (Chairman of the Compensation Committee) and Earl H. Nemser (our Vice Chairman). Mr. Peterffy’s membership on the Compensation Committee may give rise to conflicts of interests in that Mr. Peterffy is able to influence all matters relating to executive compensation, including his own compensation.

We are dependent on IBG LLC to distribute cash to us in amounts sufficient to pay our tax liabilities and other expenses.

We are a holding company and our primary assets are our approximately 23.5% equity interest in IBG LLC and our controlling interest and related rights as the sole managing member of IBG LLC and, as such, we operate and control all of the business and affairs of IBG LLC and are able to consolidate IBG LLC’s financial results into our financial statements. We have no independent means of generating revenues. IBG LLC is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes and, as such, is not subject to U.S. federal income tax. Instead, its taxable income is allocated on a pro rata basis to Holdings and us. Accordingly, we incur income taxes on our proportionate share of the net taxable income of IBG LLC, and also incur expenses related to our operations. We intend to cause IBG LLC to distribute cash to its members in amounts at least equal to that necessary to cover their tax liabilities, if any, with respect to the earnings of IBG LLC. To the extent we need funds to pay such taxes, or for any other purpose, and IBG LLC is unable to provide such funds, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are required to pay Holdings for the benefit relating to additional tax depreciation or amortization deductions we claim as a result of the tax basis step-up our subsidiaries received in connection with our initial public offering (“IPO”) and certain subsequent redemptions of Holdings membership interests.

In connection with our IPO, we purchased interests in IBG LLC from Holdings for cash. In connection with redemptions of Holdings membership interests, we acquired additional interests in IBG LLC by issuing shares of Class A common stock in exchange for an equivalent number of shares of member interests in IBG LLC (the “Redemptions”). In addition, IBG LLC membership interests held by Holdings may be sold in the future to us and financed by our issuances of shares of our common stock. The initial purchase and the Redemptions did, and the subsequent purchases may, result in increases in the tax basis of the tangible and intangible assets of IBG LLC and its subsidiaries that otherwise would not have been available. Such increase will be approximately equal to the amount by which our stock price at the time of the purchase exceeds the income tax basis of the assets of IBG LLC underlying the IBG LLC interests acquired by us. These increases in tax basis will result in increased deductions in computing our taxable income and resulting tax savings for us generally over the 15 year period which commenced with the initial purchase. We have agreed to pay 85% of these tax savings, if any, to Holdings as they are realized as additional consideration for the IBG LLC interests that we acquire, with the balance to be retained by us.

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As a result of the IPO and the Redemptions by Holdings, the increase in the tax basis attributable to our interest in IBG LLC is $1.8 billion. The tax savings that we would actually realize as a result of this increase in tax basis likely would be significantly less than this amount multiplied by our effective tax rate due to a number of factors, including the allocation of a portion of the increase in tax basis to foreign or non-depreciable fixed assets, the impact of the increase in the tax basis on our ability to use foreign tax credits and the rules relating to the amortization of intangible assets, for example. Based on facts and assumptions as of December 31, 2021, including that subsequent purchases of IBG LLC interests will occur in fully taxable transactions, the potential tax basis increase resulting from the historical and future purchases of the IBG LLC interests held by Holdings could be as much as $15.4 billion. The actual increase in tax basis depends, among other factors, upon the price of shares of our common stock at the time of the purchase and the extent to which such purchases are taxable and, as a result, could differ materially from this amount. Our ability to achieve benefits from any such increase, and the amount of the payments to be made under the Tax Receivable Agreement, depends upon a number of factors, as discussed above, including the timing and amount of our future income.

The tax basis increase of $15.4 billion assumes that (a) all remaining IBG LLC membership interests held by Holdings are purchased by us in one or more taxable transactions and (b) such purchases in the future are made at prices that reflect the closing share price as of December 31, 2021.

If the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) successfully challenges the tax basis increase, under certain circumstances, we could be required to make payments to Holdings under the Tax Receivable Agreement in excess of our cash tax savings.

Certain provisions in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation may prevent efforts by our stockholders to change our direction or management.

Provisions contained in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation could make it more difficult for a third-party to acquire us, even if doing so might be beneficial to our stockholders. For example, our amended and restated certificate of incorporation authorizes our board of directors to determine the rights, preferences, privileges and restrictions of unissued series of preferred stock, without any vote or action by our stockholders. We could issue a series of preferred stock that could impede the completion of a merger, tender offer or other takeover attempt. These provisions may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent a change of control of us, including through transactions, and, in particular, unsolicited transactions, that some or all of our stockholders might consider to be desirable. As a result, efforts by our stockholders to change our direction or management may be unsuccessful.

Risks Related to Our Business

Our business may be harmed by global events beyond our control, including overall slowdowns in securities trading.

Like other brokerage and financial services firms, our business and profitability are directly affected by elements that are beyond our control, such as economic and political conditions, broad trends in business and finance, changes in volume of securities and futures transactions, changes in the markets in which such transactions occur and changes in how such transactions are processed. A weakness in securities markets, such as a slowdown causing reduction in trading volume in U.S. or foreign securities and derivatives, has historically resulted in reduced transaction revenues and would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our business could be harmed by a systemic market event.

Some market participants could be overleveraged. In case of sudden, large price movements, such market participants may not be able to meet their obligations to brokers who, in turn, may not be able to meet their obligations to their counterparties. As a result, the financial system or a portion thereof could collapse, and the impact of such an event could be catastrophic to our business.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures implemented to contain the spread of the virus may have a material adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

In March 2020, the World Health Organization recognized the outbreak of COVID-19 caused by a novel strain of the coronavirus as a pandemic. The pandemic has affected all countries in which we operate. The response of governments and societies to the COVID-19 pandemic, which includes temporary closures of certain businesses; social distancing; travel restrictions, “shelter in place” and other governmental regulations; and reduced consumer spending due to job losses, has significantly impacted volatility in the financial, commodities and energy markets, and general economic conditions. These measures may have negatively impacted businesses, market participants, our counterparties and customers, and the global economy and could continue to do so for a prolonged period of time.

Our net interest income and profitability could be negatively affected by lower benchmark interest rates caused by central banks lowering target benchmark rates in an attempt to buffer their economies from the uncertainties around the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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A substantial portion of our employees have been impacted by local COVID-19 restrictions and continue to work remotely on a part-time basis. As a result, any disruption to our information technology systems, including from cyber incidents, could have a material adverse effect on our business. We have taken measures to maintain the health and safety of our employees, but widespread illness could negatively affect staffing levels within certain functions or locations. In addition, our ability to recruit, hire and onboard employees could be negatively impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our future financial results could be significant but currently cannot be quantified, as it will depend on numerous evolving factors that cannot be accurately predicted, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of the pandemic; its impact on our customers, employees and vendors; governmental regulations in response to the pandemic; and the overall impact of the pandemic on the economy and society, among other factors. Any of these events, alone or in combination with others, could exacerbate many of the risk factors discussed or incorporated by reference herein and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our future success will depend on our response to the demand for new services, products and technologies.

The demand for our services that rely on electronic communications gateways, is characterized by:

rapid technological change;

changing customer demands;

the need to enhance existing services and products or introduce new services and products; and

evolving industry standards.

New services, products and technologies may render our existing services, products and technologies less competitive. Our future success will depend, in part, on our ability to respond to the demand for new services, products and technologies on a timely and cost-effective basis and to adapt to technological advancements and changing standards to address the increasingly sophisticated requirements and varied needs of our customers and prospective customers. We cannot assure you that we will be successful in developing, introducing or marketing new services, products and technologies. In addition, we may experience difficulties that could delay or prevent the successful development, introduction or marketing of these services and products, and our new service and product enhancements may not achieve market acceptance. Any failure on our part to anticipate or respond adequately to technological advancements, customer requirements or changing industry standards, or any significant delays in the development, introduction or availability of new services, products or enhancements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our reliance on our computer software could cause us great financial harm in the event of any disruption or corruption of our computer software. We may experience technology failures while developing our software.

We rely on our computer software to receive and properly process internal and external data. Any disruption in the proper functioning of our software due to, for example, erroneous or corrupted data, or cyber-attacks, may cause us to make erroneous trades or suspend our services and could cause us great financial harm. To maintain our competitive advantage, our software is under continuous development. As we identify and enhance our software, there is risk that software failures may occur and result in service interruptions and have other unintended consequences.

We depend on our proprietary technology, and our future results may be impacted if we cannot maintain technological superiority in our industry.

Our success in the past has largely been attributable to our sophisticated proprietary technology that has taken many years to develop. We have benefited from the fact that the type of proprietary technology equivalent to that which we employ has not been widely available to our competitors. If our technology becomes more widely available to our current or future competitors for any reason, our operating results may be adversely affected. Additionally, adoption or development of similar or more advanced technologies by our competitors may require that we devote substantial resources to the development of more advanced technology to remain competitive. The markets in which we compete are characterized by rapidly changing technology, evolving industry standards and changing trading systems, practices and techniques. Although we have been at the forefront of many of these developments in the past, we may not be able to keep up with these rapid changes in the future, develop new technology, realize a return on amounts invested in developing new technologies or remain competitive in the future.

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The loss of our key employees would materially adversely affect our business.

Our key executives have substantial experience and have made significant contributions to our business, and our continued success is dependent upon the retention of our key management executives, as well as the services provided by our staff of trading system, technology and programming specialists and a number of other key managerial, marketing, planning, financial, technical and operations personnel. The loss of such key personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business. Growth in our business is dependent, to a large degree, on our ability to retain and attract such employees.

We may not pay dividends on our common stock at any time in the foreseeable future.

As a holding company for our interest in IBG LLC, we will be dependent upon the ability of IBG LLC to generate earnings and cash flows and distribute them to us so that we may pay any dividends to our stockholders. To the extent (if any) that we have excess cash, any decision to declare and pay dividends in the future will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend on, among other things, our results of operations, financial conditions, cash requirement, contractual restrictions and other factors that our board of directors may deem relevant. Since the second quarter of 2011, we have declared and paid a quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share. Although not required, we currently intend to pay quarterly dividends of $0.10 per share to our common stockholders for the foreseeable future.

Our future efforts to sell shares or raise additional capital may be delayed or prohibited by regulations.

As certain of our subsidiaries are members of FINRA, we are subject to certain regulations regarding changes in control of our ownership. FINRA Rule 1017 generally provides that FINRA approval must be obtained in connection with any transaction resulting in a change in control of a member firm. FINRA defines control as ownership of 25% or more of the firm’s equity by a single entity or person and would include a change in control of a parent company. IBC, IBUK, IBIE, IBLUX, IBKRFS, IBCE, IBHK, and IBSG are subject to similar change in control regulations promulgated by the IIROC in Canada, the FCA in the United Kingdom, the CBI in Ireland, the CSSF in Luxembourg, the FINMA in Switzerland, the MNB in Hungary, the SFC in Hong Kong, and the MAS in Singapore, respectively. As a result of these regulations, our future efforts to sell shares or raise additional capital may be delayed or prohibited. We may be subject to similar restrictions in other jurisdictions in which we operate.

Regulatory and legal uncertainties could harm our business.

The securities and derivatives businesses are heavily regulated. Firms in financial service industries have been subject to an increasingly regulated environment over recent years, and penalties and fines sought by regulatory authorities have increased accordingly. Our broker-dealer subsidiaries are subject to regulations in the U.S. and abroad covering all aspects of their business. Regulatory bodies include, in the U.S., the SEC, FINRA, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the CME, the CFTC, and the NFA; in Canada, the IIROC and various Canadian securities commissions; in the United Kingdom, the FCA; in Ireland, the CBI; in Luxembourg, the CSSF; in Switzerland, the FINMA; in Hungary; the MNB; in India, the Securities and Exchange Board of India; in Hong Kong, the SFC; in Japan, the Financial Supervisory Agency and the Japan Securities Dealers Association; in Singapore, the MAS; and in Australia, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. Our mode of operation and profitability may be directly affected by additional legislation changes in rules promulgated by various domestic and foreign government agencies and self-regulatory organizations that oversee our businesses, and changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws and rules, including the potential imposition of transaction taxes. Noncompliance with applicable laws or regulations could result in sanctions being levied against us, including fines and censures, suspension or expulsion from a certain jurisdiction or market or the revocation or limitation of licenses. Noncompliance with applicable laws or regulations could adversely affect our reputation, prospects, revenues and earnings. In addition, changes in current laws or regulations or in governmental policies could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We are subject to regulatory oversight and examination by numerous governmental and self-regulatory authorities. As announced on August 10, 2020, we agreed to settle certain matters related to our historical anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act practices and procedures with FINRA, the SEC and the CFTC. As part of the settlements, we agreed to pay penalties of $15 million to FINRA, $11.5 million to the SEC and $11.5 million to the CFTC, plus approximately $700,000 in disgorgement. In addition, we agreed to continue the retention of an independent consultant to review the implementation of our enhanced compliance practices and procedures. We are also cooperating with a United States Department of Justice inquiry concerning these matters, and while its outcome cannot be predicted, we do not believe that the resolution of this inquiry is likely to have a materially adverse effect on our financial results.

Domestic and foreign stock exchanges, other self-regulatory organizations and state and foreign securities commissions can censure, fine, issue cease-and-desist orders, suspend or expel a broker-dealer or any of its officers or employees. Our ability to comply with all applicable laws and rules is largely dependent on our internal systems to ensure compliance, as well as our ability to attract and retain qualified compliance personnel. We could be subject to disciplinary or other actions in the future due to claimed noncompliance, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. To continue to operate and to

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expand our services internationally, we may have to comply with the regulatory controls of each country in which we conduct, or intend to conduct business, the requirements of which may not be clearly defined. The varying compliance requirements of these different regulatory jurisdictions, which are often unclear, may limit our ability to continue existing international operations and further expand internationally.

Our direct market access clearing and non-clearing brokerage operations face intense competition.

With respect to our direct market access brokerage business, the market for electronic and interactive bidding, offering and trading services in connection with equities, options and futures is rapidly evolving and intensely competitive. We expect competition to continue and intensify in the future. Our current and potential future competition principally comes from five categories of competitors:

prime brokers who, in an effort to satisfy the demands of their customers for hands-on electronic trading facilities, universal access to markets, smart routing, better trading tools, lower commissions and financing rates, have embarked upon building such facilities, product and service enhancements;

direct market access and online equity brokers, and online options and futures firms;

zero commission brokers, while technically not offering direct market access, who use simplified interfaces and a limited product offering to attract new market participants;

software development firms and vendors who create global trading networks and analytical tools and make them available to brokers; and

traditional brokers.

In addition, we compete with financial institutions, mutual fund sponsors and other organizations, many of which provide online, direct market access or other investing services. A number of brokers provide our technology and execution services to their customers, and these brokers will become our competitors if they develop their own technology. Some of our competitors in this area have greater name recognition, longer operating histories and significantly greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources than we have and offer a wider range of services and financial products than we do. Some of our competitors may also have an ability to charge lower or zero commissions. We cannot assure you that we will be able to compete effectively or efficiently with current or future competitors. These increasing levels of competition in the online trading industry could significantly harm this aspect of our business.

We are subject to potential losses as a result of our clearing and execution activities.

As a clearing member firm providing financing services to certain of our brokerage customers, we are ultimately responsible for their financial performance in connection with various securities and derivatives transactions. Our clearing operations require a commitment of our capital and, despite safeguards implemented by our software, involve risks of losses due to the potential failure of our customers to perform their obligations under these transactions. If our customers default on their obligations, we remain financially liable for such obligations, and although these obligations are collateralized, we are subject to market risk in the liquidation of customer collateral to satisfy those obligations. There can be no assurance that our risk management procedures will be adequate. Any liability arising from clearing operations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

As a clearing member firm of securities and derivatives clearing houses in the U.S. and abroad, we are also exposed to clearing member credit risk. Securities and derivatives clearing houses require member firms to deposit cash, stock and/or government securities for margin requirements and to clearing funds. If a clearing member defaults in its obligations to the clearing house in an amount larger than its own margin and clearing fund deposits, the shortfall is absorbed pro rata from the deposits of the other clearing members. Many clearing houses of which we are members also have the authority to assess their members for additional funds if the clearing fund is depleted. A large clearing member default could result in a substantial cost to us if we are required to pay such assessments.


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We are exposed to risks associated with our international operations.

During 2021, approximately 31% of our net revenues were generated by our operating subsidiaries outside the U.S. We are exposed to risks and uncertainties inherent in doing business in international markets, particularly in the heavily regulated brokerage industry. Such risks and uncertainties include political, economic and financial instability; unexpected changes in regulatory requirements, tariffs and other trade barriers; exchange rate fluctuations; applicable currency controls; and difficulties in staffing, including reliance on newly hired local experts, and managing foreign operations. These risks could cause a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

We do not have fully redundant systems. System failures could harm our business.

If our systems fail to perform, we could experience unanticipated disruptions in operations, slower response times or decreased customer service and customer satisfaction. Our ability to facilitate transactions successfully and provide high quality customer service also depends on the efficient and uninterrupted operation of our computer and communications hardware and software systems. Our service has experienced periodic system interruptions, which we believe will continue to occur from time to time. Our systems and operations also are potentially vulnerable to damage or interruption from human error, cyber-attacks, natural disasters, power loss, telecommunication failures, break-ins, sabotage, computer viruses, intentional acts of vandalism and similar events. We do not have fully redundant systems, and our formal business continuity plan does not include restoration of all services. Our backup services are currently limited to U.S. markets. We currently have limited separate backup facilities dedicated to our non-U.S. operations. It is our intention to provide for and progressively deploy backup facilities for our global facilities over time. In addition, we do not carry business interruption insurance to compensate for losses that could occur to the extent not required. Any system failure that causes an interruption in our service or decreases the responsiveness of our service could impair our reputation, damage our brand name and materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Failure of third-party systems on which we rely could adversely affect our business.

We rely on certain third-party computer systems or third-party service providers, including clearing systems, exchange systems, banking systems, cryptocurrency systems, Internet service, co-location facilities, communications facilities and other facilities. Any interruption in these third-party services, or deterioration in their performance, could be disruptive to our business. If our arrangement with any third-party is terminated, we may not be able to find an alternative source of systems support on a timely basis or on commercially reasonable terms. This could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Internet-related issues may reduce or slow the growth in the use of our services in the future.

Critical issues concerning the commercial use of the Internet, such as ease of access, security, privacy, reliability, cost, and quality of service, remain unresolved and may adversely impact the growth of Internet use. If Internet usage continues to increase rapidly, the Internet infrastructure may not be able to support the demands placed on it by this growth, and its performance and reliability may decline. Although our larger institutional customers use leased data lines to communicate with us, our ability to increase the speed with which we provide services to consumers and to increase the scope and quality of such services is limited by and dependent upon the speed and reliability of our customers’ access to the Internet, which is beyond our control. If periods of decreased performance, outages or delays on the Internet occur frequently or other critical issues concerning the Internet are not resolved, overall Internet usage or usage of our web-based products could increase more slowly or decline, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our computer infrastructure may be vulnerable to security breaches. Any such problems could jeopardize confidential information transmitted over the Internet, cause interruptions in our operations or cause us to have liability to third persons.

Our computer infrastructure is potentially vulnerable to physical or electronic computer break-ins, cyber-attacks, viruses and similar disruptive problems and security breaches. Any such problems or security breaches could cause us to have liability to one or more third parties, including our customers, and disrupt our operations. A party able to circumvent our security measures could misappropriate proprietary information or customer information, jeopardize the confidential nature of information transmitted over the Internet or cause interruptions in our operations. Concerns over the security of Internet transactions and the privacy of users could also inhibit the growth of the Internet or the electronic brokerage industry in general, particularly as a means of conducting commercial transactions. To the extent that our activities involve the storage and transmission of proprietary information such as personal financial information, security breaches could expose us to a risk of financial loss, litigation and other liabilities. Our estimated annual losses from reimbursements to customers whose accounts have been negatively affected by unauthorized access have historically been less than $500,000 annually and were significantly reduced since the widespread introduction of our Secure Login System. Our current insurance program may protect us against some, but not all, of such losses. Any of these events, particularly if they (individually or in the aggregate) result in a loss of confidence in our company or electronic brokerage firms in general, could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

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We may not be able to protect our intellectual property rights or may be prevented from using intellectual property necessary for our business.

We rely primarily on trade secret, contract, copyright, patent and trademark laws to protect our proprietary technology. It is possible that third parties may copy or otherwise obtain and use our proprietary technology without authorization or otherwise infringe on our rights. We may also face claims of infringement that could interfere with our ability to use technology that is material to our business operations.

In the future, we may have to rely on litigation to enforce our intellectual property rights, protect our trade secrets, determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others or defend against claims of infringement or invalidity. Any such litigation, whether successful or unsuccessful, could result in substantial costs and the diversion of resources and the attention of management, any of which could negatively affect our business.

We are subject to risks relating to litigation and potential securities laws liability.

We are exposed to substantial risks of liability under federal and state securities laws, other federal and state laws and court decisions, as well as rules and regulations promulgated by the SEC, the CFTC, the Federal Reserve, state securities regulators, self-regulatory organizations and foreign regulatory agencies. We are also subject to the risk of litigation and claims that may be without merit. We could incur significant legal expenses in defending ourselves against and resolving lawsuits or claims. An adverse resolution of any future lawsuits or claims against us could result in a negative perception of the Company and have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. See “Legal Proceedings and Regulatory Matters” in Part I, Item 3 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

We are subject to counterparty risk whereby defaults by parties with whom we do business can have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

In our electronic brokerage business, our customer margin credit exposure is to a great extent mitigated by our policy of automatically evaluating each account throughout the trading day and closing out positions automatically for accounts that are found to be under-margined. While this methodology is effective in most situations, it may not be effective in situations in which no liquid market exists for the relevant securities or commodities or in which, for any reason, automatic liquidation for certain accounts has been disabled. If no liquid market exists or automatic liquidation has been disabled, we are subject to risks inherent in extending credit, especially during periods of rapidly declining markets. Any loss or expense incurred due to defaults by our customers in failing to repay margin loans or to maintain adequate collateral for these loans would cause harm to our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Any future acquisitions may result in significant transaction expenses, integration and consolidation risks and risks associated with entering new markets, and we may be unable to profitably operate our consolidated company.

Although our growth strategy has not focused historically on acquisitions, we may in the future engage in evaluations of potential acquisitions and new businesses. We may not have the financial resources necessary to consummate any acquisitions in the future or the ability to obtain the necessary funds on satisfactory terms. Any future acquisitions may result in significant transaction expenses and risks associated with entering new markets in addition to integration and consolidation risks. Because acquisitions historically have not been a core part of our growth strategy, we have little experience in successfully utilizing acquisitions. We may not have sufficient management, financial and other resources to integrate any such future acquisitions or to successfully operate new businesses and we may be unable to profitably operate our expanded company.

Because our revenues and profitability depend on trading volume, they are prone to significant fluctuations and are difficult to predict.

Our revenues are dependent on the level of trading activity on securities and derivatives exchanges in the U.S. and abroad. In the past, our revenues and operating results have varied significantly from period to period primarily due to movements and trends in the underlying markets and to fluctuations in trading levels. As a result, period to period comparisons of our revenues and operating results may not be meaningful, and future revenues and profitability may be subject to significant fluctuations or declines.


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We may incur material trading losses from our market making activities.

A portion of our revenues and operating profits is derived from our trading as principal in our role as a market maker. We may incur trading losses relating to these activities since each primarily involves the purchase or sale of securities for our own account. In any period, we may incur trading losses in a significant number of securities for a variety of reasons including:

price changes in securities;

lack of liquidity in securities in which we have positions; and

the required performance of our market making obligations.

These risks may limit or restrict our ability to either resell securities we purchased or to repurchase securities we sold. In addition, we may experience difficulty borrowing securities to make delivery to purchasers to whom we sold short, or lenders from whom we have borrowed. From time to time, we have large position concentrations in securities of a single issuer or issuers engaged in a specific industry or traded in a particular market. Such a concentration could result in higher trading losses than would occur if our positions and activities were less concentrated.

In our role as a market maker, we attempt to derive a profit from the difference between the prices at which we buy and sell, or sell and buy, securities. However, competitive forces often require us to match the quotes other market makers display and to hold varying amounts of securities in inventory. By having to maintain inventory positions, we are subjected to a high degree of risk. We cannot assure you that we will be able to manage such risk successfully or that we will not experience significant losses from such activities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Reduced spreads in securities pricing, levels of trading activity and trading through market makers could harm our business.

Computer-generated buy/sell programs and other technological advances and regulatory changes in the marketplace may continue to tighten spreads on securities transactions. Tighter spreads and increased competition could make our remaining market making activities less profitable.

We may incur losses in our market making activities in the event of failures of our proprietary pricing model.

Our market making activities are substantially dependent on the accuracy of our proprietary pricing mathematical model, which continuously evaluates and monitors the risks inherent in our portfolio, assimilates market data and reevaluates our outstanding quotes many times per second. Our model is designed to automatically rebalance our positions throughout the trading day to manage risk exposures on our positions in options, futures and the underlying securities. In the event of a flaw in our pricing model and/or a failure in the related software, our pricing model may lead to unexpected and/or unprofitable trades, which may result in material trading losses.

The valuation of the financial instruments we hold may result in large and occasionally anomalous swings in the value of our positions and in our earnings in any period.

The market prices of our long and short positions are reflected on our books at closing prices which are typically the last trade price before the official close of the primary exchange on which each such security trades. If prices of derivatives and their underlying securities close out of alignment, there may be large and occasionally anomalous swings in the value of our positions daily and, accordingly, in our earnings in any period. This is especially true on the last business day of each calendar quarter.

We are exposed to losses due to lack of perfect information.

As market makers, we provide liquidity by buying from sellers and selling to buyers. Quite often, we trade with others who have different information than we do, and as a result, we may accumulate unfavorable positions preceding large price movements in companies. Should the frequency or magnitude of these events increase, our losses will likely increase correspondingly.


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Rules governing designated market makers may require us to make unprofitable trades or prevent us from making profitable trades.

Designated market makers are granted certain rights and have certain obligations to “make a market” in a particular security. They agree to specific obligations to maintain a fair and orderly market. In acting as a designated market maker, we are subjected to a high degree of risk by having to support an orderly market. In this role, we may at times be required to make trades that adversely affect our profitability. In addition, we may at times be unable to trade for our own account in circumstances in which it may be to our advantage to trade, and we may be obligated to act as a principal when buyers or sellers outnumber each other. In those instances, we may take a position counter to the market, buying or selling securities to support an orderly market. Additionally, the rules of the markets which govern our activities as a designated market maker are subject to change. If these rules are made more stringent, our trading revenues and profits as a designated market maker could be adversely affected.

We rely on a third party to provide our customers the ability to access cryptocurrency trading and custody services.

We have entered into an agreement with a Cryptocurrency Service Provider (“CSP”), which provides (i) a cryptocurrency exchange platform and services whereby investors can buy and sell certain cryptocurrencies from or to other customers of the CSP or liquidity providers and (ii) custody services for certain cryptocurrencies (collectively, the “Exchange Services”), enabling our customers to trade and custody Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and potentially other cryptocurrencies, (collectively, "Cryptocurrency Assets") via the CSP. We provide only a platform and an interface for our customers to access the Exchange Services provided by the CSP. We have no custody or control over the Cryptocurrency Assets our customers hold in their accounts at the CSP. A disruption in our partnership with the CSP or in the Exchange Services provided by the CSP could have adverse effects on our customers’ confidence in our cryptocurrency offering through the CSP and on our business.

A data breach at the CSP may result in irreversible losses, which would adversely affect our customers and our business.

Access to the Cryptocurrency Assets is controllable only by the possessor of the unique private key relating to the digital wallet in which such Cryptocurrency Assets are held. To the extent any of the CSP’s private keys are lost, destroyed, unable to be accessed by the CSP, or otherwise compromised and no backup of such private key is accessible, the CSP will be unable to access the Cryptocurrency Assets held in the respective wallets. In addition, neither the CSP nor any cryptocurrency custodian can provide absolute assurance that any or all of the CSP’s wallets will not be hacked or compromised such that the private keys are obtained by a third-party or otherwise compromised in a manner such that Cryptocurrency Assets are sent to one or more addresses that the CSP does not control, which could result in the loss of some or all of the Cryptocurrency Assets that the CSP holds in custody on behalf of our customers. The CSP’s failure to safeguard the Cryptocurrency Assets may result in losses to our customers which could have adverse effects on our customers’ confidence in our cryptocurrency offering through the CSP and on our business.

We may encounter technical issues which would result in disruption or interruption of our customers’ access to their CSP accounts.

Both we and the CSP rely on computer software, hardware and telecommunications infrastructure and networking to provide the respective services to our customers with respect to trading and custody of the Cryptocurrency Assets. These computer-based systems and services are inherently vulnerable to disruption, delay, or failure, which may cause our customers to lose access to our trading platform and the Exchange Services provided by the CSP. Any such disruption could have an adverse effect on our customers’ confidence in our cryptocurrency offering through the CSP and an adverse effect on our business.

Changes in laws and regulations regarding cryptocurrency may negatively impact our ability to enable our customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies in the future and may adversely affect our business.

Regulation of the cryptocurrency industry continues to evolve and is subject to change. Securities and commodities laws and regulations and other bodies of laws can apply to certain cryptocurrency assets. These laws and regulations are complex and the interpretations of them may be subject to challenge by the relevant regulators. Future regulatory developments, including the treatment of certain cryptocurrency assets for U.S. federal income tax and foreign tax purposes, could have an adverse effect on our cryptocurrency offering through the CSP and on our business.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None.

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ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Our headquarters are located in Greenwich, Connecticut. We lease office and data center facilities in 24 cities throughout the world where we conduct our operations as set forth below. We believe our present facilities, together with our current options to extend lease terms, are adequate for our current needs.

The table below presents certain information with respect to our leased facilities as of December 31, 2021.

Location

Space (sq. feet)

Principal Usage

North America

Greenwich, CT

163,510

Headquarters

Chicago, IL

61,061

Office space and data center

Other (9 locations)

45,602

Office space and data center

Europe

Zug, Switzerland

25,009

Office space and data center

Budapest, Hungary

22,402

Office space

London, United Kingdom

12,969

Office space

Tallinn, Estonia

12,731

Office space

Other (3 locations)

14,595

Office space

Asia - Pacific

Mumbai, India

81,553

Office space

Hong Kong

21,776

Office space and data center

Other (4 locations)

18,969

Office space


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ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND REGULATORY MATTERS

The securities and commodities industry is highly regulated and many aspects of our business involve substantial risk of liability. In past years, there has been an increasing incidence of litigation involving the brokerage industry, including class action suits that generally seek substantial damages, including in some cases punitive damages. Compliance and trading problems that are reported to federal, state and provincial regulators, exchanges or other self-regulatory organizations by dissatisfied customers are investigated by such regulatory bodies, and, if pursued by such regulatory body or such customers, may rise to the level of arbitration or disciplinary action. We are also subject to periodic regulatory audits and inspections.

Like other brokerage firms, we have been named as a defendant in lawsuits and from time to time we have been threatened with, or named as a defendant in arbitrations and administrative proceedings. We may in the future become involved in additional litigation or regulatory proceedings in the ordinary course of our business, including litigation or regulatory proceedings that could be material to our business.

For more information regarding pending and threatened legal actions and proceedings see Note 14 - “Commitments, Contingencies, and Guarantees” to the consolidated financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Pending Regulatory Inquiries

Our businesses are heavily regulated by state, federal and foreign regulatory agencies as well as numerous exchanges and self-regulatory organizations. Most of our companies are regulated under some or all of the following: state securities laws, U.S. and foreign securities, commodities and financial services laws and the rules of the more than 120 exchanges, market centers and self-regulatory organizations of which one or more of our companies may be members. In the current era of heightened regulatory scrutiny of financial institutions, we have incurred increased compliance costs, along with the industry as a whole. Increased regulation also creates increased barriers to entry. We have built and continue to build human and automated infrastructure in light of increasing regulatory scrutiny, which provides us with a possible advantage over potential newcomers to the business.

We receive many regulatory inquiries each year in addition to being subject to frequent regulatory examinations. The great majority of these inquiries do not lead to fines or any further action against us. We are generally the subject of regulatory inquiries regarding subjects including, but not limited to: audit trail reporting, trade reporting, best execution and order execution procedures, display of market data, short sales, margin lending, exchange fees charged to customers, anti-money laundering or potentially manipulative trading by customers, procedures for accounts managed by independent financial advisors or referred by third parties, technology development practices, record-keeping, business continuity planning and other topics of recent regulatory interest. The Company has procedures for evaluating whether potential regulatory fines are probable, estimable and material and for updating its contingency reserves and disclosures accordingly. In the current climate, we expect to pay significant and increasing regulatory fines on various topics on an ongoing basis, as other regulated financial services businesses do. The amount of any fines, and when and if they will be incurred, typically is impossible to predict given the nature of the regulatory process.


ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

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PART II

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY; RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Common Stock Information

Interactive Brokers Group Inc.’s Class A common stock trades under the symbol “IBKR” on Nasdaq. As of February 18, 2022, there were 24 holders of record, which does not reflect those shares held beneficially or those shares held in “street” name. Accordingly, the number of beneficial owners of our common stock exceeds this number.

Dividends and Other Restrictions

We currently intend to pay quarterly dividends of $0.10 per share to our common stockholders for the foreseeable future.

Stockholder Return Performance Graph

The graph below compares cumulative total stockholder return on our common stock, the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Financial-100 Index from December 31, 2016 to December 31, 2021. The comparison assumes $100 was invested on December 31, 2015 in our common stock and each of the foregoing indices and assumes reinvestment of dividends before consideration of income taxes.

Chart, line chart

Description automatically generated

___________________________

The Nasdaq Financial-100 Index includes 100 of the largest domestic and international financial securities listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market based on market capitalization. They include companies classified according to the Industry Classification Benchmark as Financials, which are included within the Nasdaq Bank, Nasdaq Insurance, and Nasdaq Other Finance Indexes.

The S&P 500 Index includes 500 large cap common stocks actively traded in the U.S. The stocks included in the S&P 500 are those of large publicly held companies that trade on either of the two largest American stock markets, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

The stock performance depicted in the graph above is not to be relied upon as indicative of future performance. The stock performance graph shall not be deemed to be incorporated by reference into any of our filings under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate the same by reference, nor shall it be deemed to be “soliciting material” or to be “filed” with the SEC or subject to Regulations 14A or 14C or to the liabilities of Section 18 of the Exchange Act.


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Use of Proceeds

On July 27, 2020, the Company filed a Prospectus Supplement on Form 424B (File Number 333-240121) with the SEC to re-register up to 990,000 shares of common stock, offering the opportunity for eligible persons to receive awards in the form of an offer to receive such shares by participating in one or more promotions that are designed to attract new customers to the Company’s brokerage platform, increase assets held with the Company’s brokerage business and enhance customer loyalty. From 2019 through 2021, the Company issued 170,000 shares to IBG LLC for distribution to eligible customers of certain of its subsidiaries.

On July 30, 2021, the Company filed a Prospectus Supplement on Form 424B5 with the SEC to issue 6,079,542 shares of common stock (with a fair value of $376 million) in exchange for an equivalent number of shares of member interests in IBG LLC.

As a consequence of these redemption transactions, and distribution of shares to employees, IBG, Inc.’s interest in IBG LLC has increased to approximately 23.5%, with Holdings owning the remaining 76.5% as of December 31, 2021. The redemptions also resulted in an increase in the Holdings interest held by Mr. Thomas Peterffy and his affiliates from approximately 84.6% at the IPO to approximately 90.5% as of December 31, 2021. See Note 4 – “Equity and Earnings per Share” and Note 10 – “Employee Incentive Plans” to the financial statements in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Securities Authorized for Issuance under Equity Compensation Plans

The table below presents information about shares of common stock available for future awards under all the Company’s equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2021. The Company has not made grants of common stock outside of its equity compensation plans.

Number of securities to be

Number of securities

issued upon exercise of

Weighted-average exercise

remaining available for

outstanding options,

price of outstanding options

future awards under

warrants and rights

warrants and rights

equity compensation plans(1)

Equity compensation plans

approved by security holders

N/A

N/A

2,488,700

Total

2,488,700

___________________________

(1)Amount represents restricted stock units available for future issuance of grants under the Company’s amended 2007 Stock Incentive Plan.


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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements and the related notes in Part II, Item 8, of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. In addition to historical information, the following discussion also contains forward-looking statements that include risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including those set forth under the heading “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Business Overview

We are an automated global electronic broker. We custody and service accounts for hedge and mutual funds, ETFs, registered investment advisers, proprietary trading groups, introducing brokers and individual investors. We specialize in routing orders and executing and processing trades in stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, metals and cryptocurrencies on more than 150 electronic exchanges and market centers in 33 countries and 25 currencies seamlessly around the world.

As an electronic broker, we execute, clear and settle trades globally for both institutional and individual customers. Capitalizing on our proprietary technology, our systems provide our customers with the capability to monitor multiple markets around the world simultaneously and to execute trades electronically in these markets at a low cost, in multiple products and currencies from a single trading account. The ever-growing complexity of multiple market centers across diverse geographies provides us with ongoing opportunities to build and continuously adapt our order routing software to secure excellent execution prices.

Since our inception in 1977, we have focused on developing proprietary software to automate broker-dealer functions. The proliferation of electronic exchanges and market centers since the early 1990s has allowed us to integrate our software with an increasing number of trading venues, creating one automatically functioning, computerized platform that requires minimal human intervention.

Our customer base is diverse with respect to geography and segments. Currently, approximately 77% of our customers reside outside the U.S. in over 200 countries and territories, and over 50% of new customers come from outside the U.S. Approximately 62% of our customers’ equity is in institutional accounts such as hedge funds, financial advisors, proprietary trading desks and introducing brokers. Specialized products and services that we have developed successfully attract these accounts. For example, we offer prime brokerage services, including financing and securities lending, to hedge funds; our model portfolio technology and automated share allocation and rebalancing tools are particularly attractive to financial advisors; and our trading platform, global access and low pricing attract introducing brokers.

Business Environment

In 2021, world equities markets ended the year mixed. While the U.S., the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia saw double-digit gains in their major equity market indexes, Asian markets either experienced small gains or fell. Despite this varied backdrop, there continues to be worldwide interest in the financial markets. Growing numbers of individuals, especially those newly attracted to investing, turned to the markets with increased awareness, due to the interconnectedness of investors to each other and to the markets, as they sought to earn higher yields on their assets in zero and negative-interest rate environments.

The following is a summary of the key economic drivers that affect our business and how they compared to the prior year:

Global trading volumes. According to industry data, average daily volume in U.S. exchange-listed equity-based options increased by 34%, U.S. futures by 3%, and in U.S. listed cash equities volume by 5%. These increases followed a very active 2020.

Volumes were impacted positively by large numbers of investors, particularly individuals, participating in securities markets throughout the year. Market volatility decreased moderately over the course of 2021, while average volatility for the year was down substantially from a highly volatile, pandemic-impacted 2020. Despite lower volatility, higher equities, futures and options volumes demonstrated the continuing impact of more participants in the financial markets and their increasing comfort with taking part in the investment arena.

Note that while U.S. options, futures and cash equities volumes are readily comparable measures, they reflect most but not all of the global volumes that generate our commission revenue. See “Trading Volumes and Customer Statistics” below in this Item 7 for additional details regarding our trade volumes, contract and share volumes, and customer statistics.

Volatility. U.S. market volatility, as measured by the average Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (“VIX®”), fell markedly from 29 in 2020 to 20 in 2021. While last year’s unusual COVID-19 pandemic-induced spike in market volatility to over 30 has moderated, it remains elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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In general, higher volatility improves our performance because it correlates with customer trading activity across product types. Various market cross-currents led to mixed results across our major product types: customer options and stock volumes were up 46% and 131%, respectively, while futures and foreign exchange volumes declined 7% and 30%, respectively, compared to 2020. Trading was active as investors continued to capitalize on the opportunities to participate in the markets, seeking higher yields on their investments in the zero or negative interest rate environments that existed globally in 2021. These trends led to an influx of new accounts and increases in trading volume, particularly in equities.

Interest Rates. The U.S. Federal Reserve’s target federal funds rate range in the current quarter remained at zero to 0.25%, similar to rates in many other currencies, with the exception of those where rates are negative. U.S. rates also continued to exhibit a relatively flat yield curve. Both of these factors present us with fewer investment opportunities for interest-sensitive assets, and can lead to a narrower net interest margin.

Low benchmark rates also reduce the interest we earn on our segregated cash, the majority of which is invested in U.S. government securities and related instruments. Further, our margin balances are tied to benchmark rates, with a minimum charge of 0.75% in U.S. dollars, so low interest rates limit the interest we receive on margin lending to our customers. We continue to offer among the lowest rates in the industry on margin lending, and we believe our low rates are an important factor that attracts customers to our platform.

As an offset, lower rates also reduce our interest expense. For example, in U.S. dollars we pay interest to customers only when the federal funds effective rate is above 0.50%, and in currencies with negative rates we collect interest on a portion of customer cash balances. As an indirect positive effect, we believe low and negative benchmark world interest rates have been a factor leading to the active trading we have experienced, as investors enter securities markets to achieve higher yields on their investments.

Net interest income increased compared to 2020 while the average federal funds effective rate decreased to 0.08% in 2021 from 0.38% in 2020. The interest we pay on customer cash balances and earn on customer margin loans and investment of customer segregated funds results in spreads that are compressed at low benchmark rates. Rising balances and a minimum margin loan interest rate have partially compensated for this reduction in net interest income. Despite flat benchmark rates in 2021, a 58% increase in our average margin loan balances contributed to a 41% rise in margin loan interest over 2020. Further, a strong inflow of new accounts drove average customer credit balances up 17% for the year.

Fueled by higher average balances and strong securities lending results, our net interest income grew 32% over 2020, and our overall net interest margin increased from 1.07% to 1.17%.

Currency fluctuations. As a global electronic broker trading on exchanges around the world in multiple currencies, we are exposed to foreign currency risk. We actively manage this exposure by keeping our net worth in proportion to a defined basket of 10 currencies we call the “GLOBAL” to diversify our risk and to align our hedging strategy with the currencies that we use in our business. Because we report our financial results in U.S. dollars, the change in the value of the GLOBAL versus the U.S. dollar affects our earnings. During 2021 the value of the GLOBAL, as measured in U.S. dollars, decreased 1.31% compared to its value at December 31, 2020, which had a negative impact on our comprehensive earnings for the year. A discussion of our approach for managing foreign currency exposure is contained in Part I, Item 7A of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q entitled “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk.

Financial Overview

We report non-GAAP financial measures, which exclude certain items that may not be indicative of our core operating results and business outlook and may be useful in evaluating the operating performance of our business and provide a better comparison of our results in the current period to those in prior and future periods. See the “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” section below in this Item 7 for additional details.

Diluted earnings per share were $3.24 for the year ended December 31, 2021 (“current year”), compared to $2.42 for the year ended December 31, 2020 (“prior year”). Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $3.37 for the current year, compared to $2.49 for the prior year. The calculation of diluted earnings per share is detailed in Note 4 – “Equity and Earnings Per Share” to the audited consolidated financial statements, in Part II, Item 8 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

For the current year, our net revenues were $2,714 million and income before income taxes was $1,787 million, compared to net revenues of $2,218 million and income before income taxes of $1,256 million in the prior year. Adjusted net revenues were $2,780 million and adjusted income before income taxes was $1,853 million, compared to adjusted net revenues of $2,204 million and adjusted income before income taxes of $1,346 million in the prior year.

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The financial highlights for the current year were:

Commission revenue increased $238 million, or 21%, from the prior year on higher customer options and stock trading volumes.

Net interest income increased $276 million, or 32%, on strong securities lending activity and higher margin loan balances.

Other income decreased $61 million from the prior year. This decrease was mainly comprised of (1) $75 million related to our strategic investment in Up Fintech Holding Limited (“Tiger Brokers”) and (2) $18 million related to our currency diversification strategy; partially offset by (3) the non-recurrence of a $13 million impairment loss on our investment in OneChicago Exchange in the prior year.

Pretax profit margin was 66%, up from 57% in the prior year. Adjusted pretax profit margin was 67%, up from 61% in the prior year.

In connection with our currency diversification strategy as of December 31, 2021, approximately 26% of our equity was denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. In the current year, our currency diversification strategy decreased our comprehensive earnings by $134 million (compared to an increase of $105 million in the prior year), as the U.S. dollar value of the GLOBAL decreased by approximately 1.31%, compared to its value as of December 31, 2020. The effects of our currency diversification strategy are reported as (1) a component of other income (loss of $37 million) in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income and (2) other comprehensive income (“OCI”) (loss of $97 million) in the consolidated statements of financial condition and the consolidated statements of comprehensive income. The full effect of the GLOBAL is captured in comprehensive income.

West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil Event

On April 20, 2020 the energy markets exhibited extraordinary price activity in the New York Mercantile Exchange ("NYMEX") West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil futures contract. The price of the May 2020 physically-settled futures contract dropped to an unprecedented negative price. This price was the basis for determining the settlement price for cash-settled futures contracts traded on the CME Globex and also for a separate, expiring cash-settled futures contract listed on the Intercontinental Exchange Europe ("ICE Europe"). Several of the Company’s customers held long positions in these CME and ICE Europe contracts, and as a result they incurred losses, including losses in excess of the equity in their accounts. The Company fulfilled the required variation margin settlements with the respective clearinghouses on behalf of its customers. The Company subsequently compensated certain affected customers in connection with their losses resulting from the contracts settling at a price below zero. As a result, the Company recognized an aggregate loss of approximately $104 million in the prior year, of which $103 million is included in general and administrative expenses and $1 million in customer bad debt expense in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income.