It’s that time of year again for Alternative Investment folks to storm Chicago for two different conferences, NIBA and the CTA Expo, with emerging and seasoned managers alike speaking, networking, and cocktailing in between sessions on Liquid Alts, compliance, and history lessons from CME founder Leo Melamed.

A little over a year ago, we came out with a piece entitled, “So You want to be a CTA?” explaining the ins and outs, and steps needed before making a real go at it. But where’s the list of software, lawyers, accountants, and what not – that CTAs use and rely on to make their business go?

Without further ado – our list of 108 or so commodity trading advisor resources:

(Note, firms are listed alphabetically in each category, and we’ve used their own descriptions, edited to remove the ‘we’re the best’ language… and – we can’t take full credit for aggregating all of these, The CTA Expo service provider directory gave us a great start).

Kick Ass consultant, broker, marketer, lead source, pool operator, AUM Grower

Attain Capital Management – our official title is a registered Commodity Brokerage firm, but if you know anything about Attain, we do so much more than that. Looking for the right CTA strategy? We’ll help to match you with the strategy you’re looking for.  Want educational materials on the basics of the industry? We have a complete educational course. Want day to day analysis of what happening on in the world of Alts? Check out our Blog.  Want a portfolio builder that allows you to experiment with different CTAs and allocation levels?  Register on our website. Looking for the right FCM? We’ll talk you through details.  Need marketing help for your CTA program? We do pitch books.  Want thousands of eyeballs on your latest whitepaper?  We know just the place to post it.  And so on and so forth…

Attain Portfolio Advisors —  is the registered Commodity Pool Operator and fund management arm of Attain Capital. Recently, APA, as we call it – has launched a new family of single manager alternative investment funds, as well as a new website to go with it, www.Attainfunds.com.  The new family of Attain Funds contains five single manager funds across different alternative investment strategies: Trend Following, Short Term Trading, Relative Value, Agriculture, and Global Macro

The platform offers advisors and their investor’s ease of access to managers which have been pre-screened and vetted via Attain’s real-time due diligence process, with independent third party administration, separation of fund management and trading, and the full suite of Attain’s well regarded alternatives based research and education.

Compliance Help:

ACA Compliance Group – provides expert compliance consulting services to investment advisers, private fund managers, commodity trading advisors, investment companies, and broker-dealers. ACA additionally provides GIPS® verification services and a wide variety of compliance-related educational opportunities.

Alaric Compliance – specializes in serving the SEC, FINRA, and CFTC/NFA regulatory compliance needs of the investment management community. Our expertise, developed through experience with a broad range of industry participants (broker-dealers, investment advisors, hedge funds, registered investment companies), enables us to offer our clients significant expertise in regulatory compliance, and deep knowledge of compliance best practices.

Blue River Partners – Blue River Partners works with new and existing advisory Firms to assist them with applying for registration as a Commodity Pool Operator and/or Commodity Trading Advisor with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and National Futures Association. Blue River can also assist Firms with making any applicable exemptive filings. In addition to registration and exemption services, Blue River also provides the ongoing services to Managers that trade in futures and commodities.

Compliance Supervisors, Inc – Not sure about an NFA rule? Not sure about a particular ethics rule? Compliance Supervisors not only provides compliance services to its clients, but also has a blog to answer common compliance questions one might have, as well as a detailed description and definition of someone regulatory questions.

Foreside – provides comprehensive and tailored compliance services to Commodity Pool Operators (CPOs) and other National Futures Association (NFA)-registered entities. Our services span a broad spectrum, including assisting our clients in meeting NFA and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulatory standards to ensuring that they are apprised of industry best practices. Foreside employs seasoned compliance professionals and attorneys who have worked extensively with NFA-registered firms in the Alternative and Registered Investment Funds environment.

Futures Compliance – We provide a full range of regulatory compliance outsourcing services including, preparation of compliance policies and procedures manuals and disclosure documents, conducting compliance audits and NFA Self-Exam Checklists, review of existing compliance controls, promotional material reviews, setting record keep requirements and more.

Regulatory Compliance – Includes all essential compliance services for NFA members including a custom compliance manual, Disclosure Document, quarterly and annual filings, and compliance and ethics training. Plus, a Customized Compliance Manual, Examinations & Testing, as well as many others.

Titan Regulation – We build compliance environments, register firms with the SEC and/or the CFTC, and support CCOs in managing difficult regulatory challenges. We support clients during communications with regulators and provide ongoing daily compliance assistance. Our services broadly include Registration, a retainer program for on-going SEC support and Form PF program designed to assist clients with the immediate need to develop processes around this new filing requirement.

Turnkey Trading Partners – James Bibbings & (Susan Osmanski) were recently recognized as the “North America’s Best Regulatory Advisory Firm,” by Hedgeweek Magazine, there’s no denying that if you have any questions as to how to become a CTA, to accounting, auditing, taxes, and even marketing and PR, Turnkey can help. With 25 years of experience, a senior Manager at Turnkey, and a Board Member at the CCC, Susan Omanski is fully capable and willing to aid in your process to being compliant.

Third Party Administrators:

Custom House – is an independent fund administrator with over two decades of experience in providing an extensive range of services, coupled with a very personal approach. We combine our technology, expertise and global infrastructure to deliver a customized package of services to our clients, including: Fund Administration, Investor Services, Portfolio & Managed Account Services, Shadow Accounting, Fund Formation, and Corporate Services

Futures Accounting & Compliance — Jas Chavla – provide custom accounting and compliance services by highly qualified professionals with extensive regulatory backgrounds and the sincere desire to contribute to their client’s success.

Michael J. Liccar – is both an alternative fund administrator and  a full-service public accounting firm which specializes exclusively in the securities and futures industry. We currently serve a wide variety of Hedge Funds, Commodity Pools, Private Investment Funds, Commodity Trading Advisors, Registered Investment Advisors, Broker-Dealers, Introducing Brokers and Futures Commission Merchants.

NAV – provides Independent Fund Administration services for Hedge Funds, Fund of Funds, Commodity Pools, Family Offices and Managed Accounts. Since our establishment, we have developed a reputation of providing excellent service to emerging managers as well as established fund managers.

Woodfield Fund Administration – Independent, third-party administration provides increased transparency, financial control and security for your fund’s operation. But the quality and effectiveness of fund administrators varies a great deal.

Audit & Tax:

Arthur Bell – is a managed futures, securities and hedge fund accounting firm that provides audit, tax, performance analysis, investor representative, and consulting services. We have been committed almost exclusively to the alternative investment industry since the firm’s inception in 1974. We also provide family office services to support the sophisticated needs of high net worth families and their related entities.

Fleming Financial Services – is a professional corporation formed in the state of Maryland in 1999.  The mission of FFS is to provide high quality comprehensive accounting, administration and advisory services to those engaged in the alternative investment management industry.  Given the background and expertise of the founder and its employees, FFS is able to provide specialized, value added service that is proactive, timely, accurate and efficiently performed.  We provide our services to a wide range of hedge funds, commodity funds, fund of funds, private equity funds and family offices.

Gemini Fund Services – While meeting the requirements of investors and regulatory bodies, the Gemini Companies offer operational services, which include transparency, uniform operational setup, risk/guideline management and liquidity enhancements.

KPMG – (Formerly Rosthstein Kass)  the U.S. audit, tax and advisory services firm, operates from 87 offices with more than 23,000 employees and partners throughout the U.S. Our purpose is to turn knowledge into value for the benefit of our clients, our people, and the capital markets.

Liccar – is both an alternative fund administrator and  a full-service public accounting firm which specializes exclusively in the securities and futures industry. We currently serve a wide variety of Hedge Funds, Commodity Pools, Private Investment Funds, Commodity Trading Advisors, Registered Investment Advisors, Broker-Dealers, Introducing Brokers and Futures Commission Merchants.

Michael Coglianese –  We bring over 25 years of financial industry experience and a team of former NFA and Big 4 auditors working on your behalf. Our expertise will help you keep costs down and minimize regulatory risk. By working together, you can concentrate on what you do best.

McGladrey – provides assurance, tax, and consulting services focused on the middle market. McGladrey has more than 6,700 professionals in 75 U.S. cities and access to more than 32,000 people in 100 countries through our membership in RSM International.

Swiss Financial Services – Swiss Financial Services provides asset managers and fund sponsors with comprehensive support in all aspects of fund administration, fund accounting, investor services and fund set-up, for diverse fund types.

Back Office:

First, check out this article (Back office: The backbone of a successful CTA) highlighting the business side of managing money.

CTA Services – CTA Services offers a full range of operational support to assist Commodity Trading Advisors in running their businesses, including: Monthly Performance, Fee calculators, Daily NAV reporting, Trade Allocators, Trade Error Resolution, Disclosure documents, and more…

DMaxx – has been providing Futures Trading and Accounting software and services to members of the Managed Futures industry since 1994. Our customers range from some of the largest to some of the smallest members. Our projects have included multiple top-to-bottom custom development of back, middle, and front office systems.

Managed Futures Network – Much like the name implies, this site offers what appears to be an endless amount of references for everything you need to know about the world of Managed Futures.

Attorney’s: (without comment, in the spirit of the old saying ‘if you don’t have anything good to say…)

Alston & Bird

Cummings Law

Crow & Cushing

Henderson Law

Ruddy Law Office

Schuyler, Roche, Crisham – Jeff Barclay

Sidley Austin – David Sawyier

IRA Custodians:

Advanta IRA  – Advanta IRA is composed of a group of elite self-directed IRA administrators serving clients nationwide.

Equity Trust – Equity Trust is a provider of Self-Directed IRAs and 401ks, with over 130,000 clients in all 50 states.

IRA Services – The IRA Services Trust Company has more than 30 years of experience offering custodial and administrative services in the self-directed IRA industry. Our account holders invest in “traditional” publicly-traded assets such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and a wide variety of alternative assets, including: real estate, precious metals, partnerships, limited liability companies, private stock, promissory notes, crowdfunding investments and more.

Kingdom Trust –  is an independent qualified custodian. The Kingdom Trust Company was established to provide flexible, innovative and cost effective custody solutions to the investment industry.

Midland IRA – Making the decision to self-direct your IRA is a big one. We understand how important it is for you to choose the right administrator. Here at Midland, we pride ourselves in our commitment to providing premier IRA administration for our clients.

Millenium Trust – is an industry leading custodian that helps Introducing Brokers, Commodity Trading Advisors, Futures Commission Merchants, Commodity Pool Operators, Broker/Dealers, and Registered Investment Advisors do more by providing expert IRA custody for futures trading accounts and managed futures products.

Pensco – Because holding alternative assets in retirement accounts requires special knowledge and handling, many broker dealers don’t offer alternatives as an option for IRAs, that’s where we come in.


Attain Portfolio Advisors –  is the registered Commodity Pool Operator and fund management arm of Attain Capital. Recently, APA, as we call it – has launched a new family of single manager alternative investment funds,  as well as a new website to go with it, www.Attainfunds.com.  The new family of Attain Funds contains five single manager funds across different alternative investment strategies: Trend Following, Short Term Trading, Relative Value, Agriculture, and Global Macro

The platform offers advisors and their investor’s ease of access to managers which have been pre-screened and vetted via Attain’s real-time due diligence process, with independent third party administration, separation of fund management and trading, and the full suite of Attain’s well regarded alternatives based research and education.

CAIS – Our platform provides you with turnkey access to a growing selection of in-demand funds and products. A broad menu of hedge funds across a wide range of strategies, including long/short equity, event-driven, merger arbitrage, credit/distressed, multi-strategy, global macro, CTA and fund of funds, in developed and emerging markets.

dbSelect –  is a platform for accessing strategies in FX, CTAs and other liquid trading strategies.

Lyxor – The Lyxor Managed Account Platform has created investment standards built on 4 key pillars: asset segregation, liquidity, transparency and risk management. Each managed account on the platform replicates a benchmark hedge fund that has been carefully selected by Lyxor.

RJO Oasis – At OASIS, our commodity brokers work with individual and institutional investors to define their ideal risk/reward profile and present clients to CTAs with the most potential to achieve their unique investment goals.

Typhon Access – is the operator of Hydra — a platform registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission — that allows qualified investors access CTA, FX, and Macro strategies. Hydra offers each strategy within a pooled vehicles.


Attain’s Managed Futures Blog – Who provides the best educational, thought provoking, and random 80’s references about Managed Futures? Us, of course! With over 1,300 posts on the Managed Futures Blog, you can find any sub category you’re looking for, whether it be futures market commentary, Managed Futures regulation rule changes, other voices, or something we just found interesting, there’s enough content to keep you busy for as long as you desire.

CME – The basics of managed futures in just 16 pages, in this Managed futures whitepaper. Get the stats you need, and the ground level thinking for how the asset classes functions, and performs.

CME Managed Futures Podcasts – Looking for an alternative form a medium to get your managed futures education? CME have a long list of podcasts specifically dedicated to the managed futures industry. Guests include current CTAs, researchers, and investors & consultants sharing their thoughts on the current state of the managed futures. Podcasts run anywhere from a couple minutes up to 20, perfect for your train or car ride to the office.

CTA Intelligence – CTA Intelligence is a subscription-only monthly publication focused on the key issues and commercial opportunities for professionals working in the commodity trading advisor (CTA) space.

CTA Intelligence also features exclusive profiles of CTA managers and investors, as well as compliance updates and in-depth trend analysis.

Futures Magazine – Run by Editor-in-Chief, Dan Collins, Futures Magazine is a one stop shop for all things futures, hence the name. From Daily Market Analysis, to News, and Big picture commentary, it seems like there’s never a lack of content on this fan favorite site.

Hedgefund Intelligence – provides hedge fund news and data, offering a range of global products to the global hedge fund industry, its investors and related companies.

John Lothian News – John Lothian News (JLN) is the news division of John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. (JJLCO). The online media and financial services firm is majority owned by John J. Lothian, a futures industry veteran of 30 years, and minority owned by Jim Kharouf, a journalism veteran of more than 20 years. The firm is staffed by derivatives industry, journalism and technology professionals.

Opalesque – While they specifically focus on Hedge Fund News, they have a viewership interest in all alternative investments. Meaning, you’ll be able to find what’s up happening in the realm of Managed Futures.

Peter Brandt – Been in the Biz since 1976. Considered one of the greats when it comes to classic trading books. Included in the Top 30 most influential people in finance by Barry Ritholtz. We could all learn a thing or two from him.

Value Walk – ValueWalk combines Business, Politics, Technology, and Economics, with a splash of Hedge Funds and Managed Futures news thrown in. With 20+ “Gurus” on the site, there’s no doubt you’ll get a variety of information from unique sources.

Social Media:

A Big List of Alternative Investment Folks on Twitter

Market Data/Order Entry:

Barchart – Needs a quick update on how September Crude is doing? Barchart has every futures contract, front month and back months (up to a year out.) Barchart is one of the only technologies that offer hourly data of markets, but not available to download to an excel spreadsheet.

Commodity Systems Inc. – CSI is a low cost information vendor of summary world financial market data. Daily/data updates on thousands of time series are supplied via the Internet at the close of each business day or as the sun sets around the world.

CQG – Data, Charting, and Trading. “The industry’s highest performing and best valued market data, technical analysis, and order routing provider.”

Cunningham Trading Systems (CTS) – Trade Futures and Options how the Professionals do.

EUREX – publishes a wide range of robust data, covering everything from end-of-day settlements to intraday prices.

ESignal – online trading platform, offers valuable trading software & tools with real-time charts & quotes for trading stocks, futures, forex & options.

Finviz – An easy to use technology, Finviz gives you fast access to a majority of the futures markets. Our only issue with it, is they don’t use backadjusted data, or roll their contracts, so sometimes it appears like markets are making big moves when in reality, there’s a new front month contract.

Gate 39 Media – We specialize in providing financial marketing service solutions for the web. From web site development to marketing campaigns—and the technology to power them—we have a solution for you. Our clients include IB’s, CTAs, FCMs, and RIAs.

iBroker – Futures, Options, and Forex trading on the go. Built by traders, for traders, for any and all smartphone devices and tablets. Includes real time charts and indicators, price alerts, and real time quotes.

Quandl – It’s a one stop shop for just about any markets data you’re looking for (Futures or not). With a quick search, Quandl allows you to download data of any market that the internet has to offer

Trading Technologies (TT) – Trade the global derivatives markets from a single computer screen with TT’s award-winning professional futures trading software.

Tradestation – TradeStation offers online trading in stocks, options, futures, forex & ETFs, plus market analysis software, education and customer service.

Performance Reporting/Databases:

AlbourneVillage –  invites all investment managers to provide it with information and documents (“fund data”) about their funds by registering with MoatSpace.

BarclayHedge – Our Databases contain comprehensive and up-to-date information on Hedge Funds, Fund of Funds, and CTAs. Get daily updates of monthly returns, plus information on holdings, performance, assets, fees and more.

Compose/Wilshire – offers investment managers increased exposure and marketing power by making their key performance and relevant qualitative information available to users of Wilshire Compass.

Eurekahedge CTA database – The Eurekahedge CTA/Managed Futures Fund database is a database of commodity trading advisers and managed futures programs. Managed futures offer the potential for reduced portfolio volatility and profit earning in all economic environments and tend to have contrarian return properties to other hedge fund strategies.

Evestment – eVestment delivers insight and intelligence to the institutional investing community through a comprehensive, global database and cloud-based analytics technology. As institutional portfolios increasingly diversify holdings, a single source of data, analysis and reporting like that offered uniquely by eVestment becomes an essential foundation for efficient investing.

FundPeak — Information portal about managed futures investments. CTA Database, news and education about alternative investments through commodity trading advisors.

Greenwich Alternative Investments – has been providing qualified institutional investors access to and information on the hedge fund space. As one of the oldest and most extensive hedge fund databases in existence, Greenwich is pleased to now offer it’s database to outside managers and qualified investors.

HedgeACT – HedgeACT provides a web-based platform for fund managers and qualified investors. The platform facilitates information flow and analytical tools for investors, as well as a mechanism for fund managers to promote their funds and effectively market to the thousands of registered investors on HedgeACT.

Hedge Connection – Hedge Connection  is a marketing solution for the hedge fund industry. Our online fund database is powered by Morningstar and provides investors with access to over 7,000 hedge funds, fund of funds and CTAs.

HedgePo – is an invitation-only web portal which enables institutional investors to discover, monitor and connect with the global universe of investment managers. Equally, the portal provides a means for investment managers to build long-term relationships with potential investment partners.

HFR database – provides comprehensive hedge fund data, performance reports and indices to help investors make wise investment choices

Infovest21 – is an information services company for the hedge fund industry. Efficient delivery of information, cutting-edge technology and a niche focus are the themes to the innovative services provided. News, manager interviews, white papers, surveys and industry events provide the qualified investor, the institutional investor, and the alternative investment manager with customized information.

Mercer –  is a global database on investment managers for institutional investors. The information in this database supports Mercer’s global research on investment managers and the manager searches that we perform for our clients.

MorningStar Hedge Fund Data Manager  – The Morningstar Hedge Fund database supports a range of Morningstar solutions investors, advisors and institutions use when making investment decisions. Many of these products contain comprehensive data about other types of investments, such as stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and separate accounts to facilitate comparisons and provide an integrated representation of a portfolio.

Preqin – Preqin provides industry-level fund performance data covering over 10,000 investment vehicles, with 7,000 reporting monthly returns. Fund-by-fund performance information is also available, including all of the most sought-after and secretive funds. Gain a market overview, viewing a snapshot of overall performance across various time periods, or compare funds to fully customizable benchmarks by strategy, fund structure, geography and more.



CTA Expo

CTA Intelligence


Investment News Alternative Investments Conference



Opalesque – Another list of Hedge Funds conferences


Trader’s Fulcrum


CBOE Futures Exchange – CBOE Futures Exchange (CFE®) is the home of volatility futures, featuring futures on the CBOE® Volatility Index (VIX®). CFE is owned by CBOE Holdings, Inc. and trades on CFE are cleared by The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). CFE is an all-electronic, open access market model with dedicated market makers and market participants providing liquidity.

CME – We couldn’t create this list without including the exchange itself, which offers a quick view on how the markets are doing. However, you cannot download data, and some data can be slightly delayed as its used for more of a quick check in, opposed to an indicator.

Eurex – Eurex publishes a wide range of robust data, covering everything from end-of-day settlements to intraday prices. How was the day? The daily trading statistics provide a reliable source of all volumes in EUR, traded contracts and open interests of all Eurex Exchange products .It records daily and also accumulated data.

ICE – And we couldn’t mention CME without ICE.  You need accurate, reliable information quickly? ICE Data delivers objective and transparent market data so you can calculate and minimize the risk. Hundreds of market activity reports are available from ICE’s markets to keep you informed and up to date.

LME –  The London Metal Exchange is the world centre for industrial metals trading and price-risk management.

NASDAQ OMX NLX – covers 26 markets, 3 clearinghouses, and 5 central securities depositories, supports Equities, Options, Fixed income, Derivatives, Commodities, Futures, and Structured products.

NYSE LIFFE – Established in 1982 as the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, Liffe is a leading market for European interest rates, agricultural commodities, single stock and equity index futures and options. All Liffe contracts are cleared by ICE Clear Europe.


AIMA (Alternative Investment Management Association)

CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association)

CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission)

FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)

FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)

FOX (Family Office Exchange)

MFA (Managed Funds Association)

NFA (National Futures Association)

SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission)


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