How come you began to work in the financial industry?
I have quite strong IT background, been programming seriously from 13 years old. Also during these times I got different experience in financial field, as well as organization and entrepreneurship. So basically combination of these skills result start of such business. Initially it was hobby.
Where did you start to work in the financial industry?
I made fist pilot project as entrepreneur. It was chart application for mobile phone, which was based on J2ME technology. It was basically one of first in this field application on mobile as I remember, and was quite successful. Then for some time I make application for other fields, it was important to understand my value in financial application niche to which I return some later again with full force and focus.
Describe the atmosphere, people and company targets.
Online trading software is one of the most challenging fields in world. It requires very strong mathematical background and deep core IT understanding. What’s why we see very few professionally made solutions on market today, and only few companies have success in this difficult business niche. I can only compare it to space rockets engineering. And that’s why I decide dedicating myself to it.
How was the idea of PFSOFT and Protrader born?
At the beginning we had informational part only: charts and quotes. Then we got first client which request trading functionality additionally. Initially it seems quite simple task, but took about 1.5 years to have first version. At this time there were only 2 or 3 platforms which show us direction. But our target was to make much better and professional platform on advanced technologies.
Btw the biggest advantage was technology selection: from the beginning we use Java, Oracle and .Net. I didn’t see platforms on these technologies at that time, so I assume we were first and as result collected the biggest expertise in usage of these technologies for trading.
Describe what the start of your company was like.
First year it was team of 4 programmers. We work at my house about 14 hours per day. It was very exciting, as we see results each day. But do not suggest repeat this J it’s bad for health to programming such long time each day, at some day eyes goes down first, other days – mind turned off:).
How has your company and business model changed from the beginning until now?
During 9 years company grows from 4 to about 40 people. Especially last 2 years we grow from 10 to 40, which affect some aspects of organization approach. But in general we have spirit of startup, as we are young (average age is 26 years old) and every day we have many new ideas and challenges. Also we not have strong formalities and hierarchy, which allows people exchange information easy and result in many innovations.
What do you like most in Protrader?
Oh, it’s still far from ideal which we see in our dreams. And each time it looks like we about to reach it within next 3-4 month, but again and again see how we can put it on next level. I am a perfectionist, so it’s impossible to enjoy results for long time, new challenges are always coming. However frankly speaking I deeply believe Protrader in general is one of best platform in its market segment today (in professional multi asset solutions segment I mean).
Protrader is very functional but at the same moment quite useful system – which is usually not easy to combine. Its biggest uniqueness is what Protrader truly and fully combines such different markets as Forex, equities and commodities within one solution. It was very important and not easy task and I am very proud we were able to do it.
Additionally in Protrader we were able to integrate functionality for different participants including Brokers, Fund managers, Algotraders, HFT, Banks and even ECNs and Exchanges within one solution. Different aspects of platform (security, reliability and usability) allows it to be used by organizations of different sizes and policies from biggest banks to small brokers.
What you want to add in future?
Next week we will officially release new version of Web and Mobiles front ends. This from our view will be most sophisticated and functional on todays market. For example it will be possible to run algoscripts(EA) on web and mobiles interfaces, which will basically run on server side, we call it Robots in Cloud J
As I told additionally to brokerage solution we have solution for exchanges. Recently first stock exchange went live on Protrader. And we have plans to add some extra functionality there to support new asset classes. And we have great synergy with brokerage solution, in aggregation and smart routing in particular.
Also we will continue extending our solution in both directions: institutional and retail. For example we will put on new level aggregation and portfolio management for institutional traders. For retail we will introduce new social trading solution integrated to platform, based on signals sharing and advanced communication tools and marketplace.
Also we are preparing some surprises for traders in the beginning of the year 🙂
What do you think about other trading platforms?
I respect each of them. As each have its clients and priorities. Our target clients are professional multi-asset traders.
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But there are some good platforms which are very successful for retail segment, as well as there are some platforms which are very targeted / focused to specific markets.
Can you compare them?
Ok, each platform has some advantages. In each of them I can see strong parts for sure.
Personally I like the flexibility of SaxoTrader. The design of cTrader is very worthy. MetaTrader made big work in Algotrading. I feel that Barclays and Deutche Bank platforms are very useful and Oanda ‘s platform is very reliable.
Also there are very good platforms which does well targeting specific markets: Thinkorswim and CQG.
How has the Forex market changed during all years that you’ve been involved in it?
Traders becoming more educated and requires more flexibility and functionality. They have more demands to brokers, as they see advantages of STP model.
Forex market is becoming more professional and more similar to equities. And many traders already like to see all asset classes in one solution.
It’s not only last years because of crisis but all time we exist we see new demands, and new opportunities, so there is no time to relaxJ
What is future of this market?
We see Forex market becoming more professional and serious. Traders will require more and more sophisticated functionality. And this is good for us as we will always have challenges and job J
How FX brokers have changed during the last years?
They become more professional and innovative. Most of them start thinking about longer targets and about more stable business. STP model gives them less profit in short perspective, but these profits are much stable and in long terms are bigger.
Do you personally trade?
Only on demo accountJ Professional trading requires a lot of time, and I prefer to dedicate myself to other activities. But in our team we have 4 professional traders. They help us understand traders’ needs in different layers. Also we cooperate very closely with our clients-partners, we used to listen them very carefully, and they basically becoming part of our team.
What are your plans for the development of PFSOFT?
Last 2 years we have very good changes already, but expect even better grow in next 2 years. During our 9 years existence we have earned a reputation of a stable and innovative partner for brokers. And it allows us to make some really good contracts with some biggest financial corporations and banks. We just opened second office in China, and in next 2 years plan to open office in US or Canada.
We plan our staff grow about 25% per year, no more – because it should be smart and consistent. I do not think we will have more than 100 people – as it will not be so effective. I believe quality is much more important than quantity, and see big potential in improving team synergy.
What do you know about polish market?
I like this market a lot. It’s start to grow not so long ago, and as result brokers and banks start to use latest innovations and technologies. So in many aspects Polish market will be better then rest Europe and even US. I do not know why, but traders are very smart there. They are very keen about latest trends, including algo, social and mobile trading. We have a very good cooperation with them and use a lot of ideas in our development. I want say to all Polish traders big “THANK YOU”!