If you were to sift through the past ten years of the retail industry, it would be hard to find an executive with a broader range of experience than Brian Myers. From Global Head of Sales at Alpari and an Executive Director role with OANDA to CEO at GKFX and, his current role, CEO of Divisa Capital, Myers has been one of the most prominent figures within the retail industry in recent years.
Three months into his new role with Divisa Capital, Finance Magnates spoke to Myers about life at the multi-asset prime broker. We discussed Divisa’s plans for expansion, what attracted him to take up the role and new products the firm has in the pipeline.
Firstly, congratulations on the new role. What attracted you to take up the position and what expectations does the board have of you?
Divisa UK is a great fit for me and where I want to be in this industry. The Board’s vision and strategy are in complete alignment with where I want to take the company, and the parent company, Equiti Group, has a desire to build something great within our space.
The Group’s positioning is also key for me. Within Europe, we are growing our Institutional and B2B relationships. Outside of Europe, the Equiti Group is building on these areas, as well as its retail business, where the company is growing at an extraordinary rate through the Middle East, the East, and Africa.
My role is to lead the UK arm of the Group in a time that is full of challenges but equally matched with opportunity. Divisa UK’s focus is on growing our partner relationships and delivering best in class solutions and product for our clients. This is all made possible by the team I have around me.
How much of a trickle-down effect, if any, do you expect from ESMA’s retail regulations?
Due to the positioning of the Group I mentioned above, we believe that the impact of the ESMA Product Intervention guidelines will be minimal. There has been no meaningful adjustment to the Group’s forecasts past 1st August. Looking at it across our sector, it has been well documented that the industry expects consolidation, and this does seem very likely. I’m sure there will be less competition in certain regions but the impact on client numbers and volumes, especially in retail, is still to be seen.
Divisa already offers a very wide range of products and services. Do you have any plans to provide new products or develop new technologies or do you have plans for both?
Definitely both. We look to continuously deliver not only new product offerings and services but importantly for Divisa, to pioneer new and superior product and innovative technology offerings. We are well aware that we need to constantly innovate and do things differently to be a global industry leader, and that’s what we are aiming for.
In the retail unit of the group we are expanding our product range substantially and will be offering a wholesale multi-asset solution for our client base. This coupled with some technological initiatives will support us in reaching our global growth targets.
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In Brokerage, we have already begun to make some adaptations in our liquidity framework which we are seeing a value-add for our clients. This will continue to be a priority for us in Q3 as we provide our clients with bespoke liquidity.
What is the relationship between Divisa and Equiti, your parent company, at this point in time?
Divisa Capital is one of the companies within the Equiti Group with a growing global footprint. All companies within the Equiti Group report to the Equiti Group Board. Divisa Capital naturally has a strong representation on the Equiti Group Board.
The Group is striving to optimize global expertise and capabilities through interconnectivity of all subsidiaries within the Group and is moving towards a global brand identity.
What jurisdictions do you see offering the best avenues for expansion?
We are working so hard in this respect. Although the Group is already present in multiple locations across the world, we are working to expand even further.
Currently, both Jordan and Kenya look very promising for expansionary opportunities. EGM Securities, our subsidiary in Kenya is the first online forex broker in Africa (apart from South Africa) to offer regulated online forex trading using multiple payment channels including a mobile payment channel such as Kenya’s very popular M-Pesa. It means that for the first time, Kenyans will have the opportunity to participate in global forex markets in a strictly locally regulated environment and at lower transaction costs. We are bullish on the market in Kenya especially given the country’s entrepreneurial and innovative culture and its progressive and well-respected capital markets regulator, and it’s likely we will expand to other markets in Africa in the very near future.
We are very optimistic at the scope for growth in Jordan and surrounding regions and have already almost doubled our staff complement in Jordan in recent weeks to support growth opportunities and to ensure optimal service for the market. The Jordan Securities Commission (JSC) license allows us to provide brokerage service in the local and international market and allows Equiti to be a member of the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE). This means that we are and will continue to lead the way in advancing the capital markets in Jordan and the greater Levant region.
Add to this the possibilities we see in South America, growing our Florida based team, European consolidation opportunities and Asia expansion, and you can see how focused we are on building the Group.
How well is Divisa’s Asia business doing? How have your expansion efforts gone there and what can we expect from Divisa in the region in the years ahead?
Divisa has been present in Asia since 2009, and we have developed our team there considerably since 2014. We have increased our market share over that time, and we are proud of our well-established relationships with media, tech vendors and other partners in most countries throughout the region. We are very happy with the direction of the Group in that part of the world and are excited about the huge amount of opportunity that remains.