Do proprietary trading businesses use retail forex brokers?
the Proprietary Trading firm that I founded and run utilises a number of different brokers depending on the security traded. Many of these brokers offer retail / individual accounts but on different terms and with different fees.
The broker we use for the majority of trading only has a minimum opening balance of $10,000.00 USD for a retail account, the markets and prices we trade on come directly from the exchange meaning that it is possible for an individual trader with $10k USD to open an equivalent account.
Keep in mind that Novak Financial Pty Ltd is a very, very small prop trading firm and I dare say there may be individual investors with a greater amount of investment capital.
There are some brokers and even retail investment product providers who market specifically towards retail traders, these companies usually offer no minimum opening, free platforms, free data but charge either overinflated prices (exchange price + spread + commission) and also charge for transactions in and out.
Major investment funds have direct market access negotiated through a major broker or may even be market participants themselves (dealing directly with the exchange - no broker).
I hope this answer was informative.