Summit bets $90m on options brokerage

In one of its biggest growth equity investments in recent years, Boston’s Summit Partners has backed an online stock and equity options brokerage.

Summit Partners has taken a $90 million (€71 million) minority stake in OptionsXpress, based in Chicago.


OptionsXpress, founded three years ago, provides options instruments to individual investors, according to a press release. The company has more than 70,000 accounts.


OptionsXpress will continue to be managed by founders Gray, Bennett and David Kalt.


Summit Partners’ most recent deal was an equity stake of undisclosed value in cosmetics company Physicians Formula.


The firm, formed in 1984, specializes in growth equity investing, a strategy that favors minority and majority stakes in growing companies with low- to no-leverage structures.


Summit Partner’s latest fund closed with more than $2 billion in commitments in 2001. The firm also manages an early stage venture fund, a subordinated debt fund and a hedge fund.