Retail brokerage space has evolved a ton in the last few years. The already changing space was hit with the impact of the Coronavirus that pushed the industry in a new direction. Finance Magnates recently had an opportunity to interview Jacob Plattner, Chief Executive at Scope Markets, who spoke on the trends of the industry and the achievements of the broker in recent years.
The broker, which holds several regulatory licenses and offers trading services with multiple assets, is aggressively expanding its industry footprint, both geographically and product-wise and is eying for further expansion.
1- 2020 has been a challenging year for many brokers. What impact has COVID-19 had upon Scope Markets from an operational point of view, and what lessons have been learned in such a uniquely volatile year?
The pandemic has been very challenging from an operational standpoint, but we were also very well prepared for it in many ways. The biggest lesson I think we have learned is there is no substitute for being very well organized. In some parts of our group, we were very well organized and in others not so much. Managing a global business with so many different offices and regulated entities has certainly been difficult, but we have fantastic managers and colleagues who have just been great during this time period, and without them, we would not have been able to survive the pandemic the way we did.
Another important lesson that I have learned is that we need to find new ways of communicating strategy and organizing ourselves to be better in this new virtual world. This is something that I continually focus on as the CEO of the Group with the other directors, and it has become a bigger part of our overall strategy.
2- You entered Kenya in 2019 as one of the first licensed brokers to do so. Are there other African nations part of future expansion plans, and which emerging markets should we be looking out for?
Entering the Kenyan market was an important milestone for Scope Markets as it was our first regulated entity in Africa. That being said, we have had a presence in Africa for some time with our offices in Nigeria. In early 2020 we finalized the acquisition of our South African entity, which was our second regulated entity in Africa. Africa will continue to be a big part of our strategy for the coming years, and this is a place where we have already seen and continue to see significant growth.
Going into iFX Dubai, we will run a live trading competition with Nasdaq, and we hope, this way, to establish the Scope Markets brand in our key markets.
3- Coming to the products, many other brokers have started to offer crypto trading services as the market is currently booming. What are your thoughts on crypto?
The Rising Star of the DeFi Project, GIBXSwap, Passes CertiK Security AuditGo to article >>
We have been offering cryptos as a CFD for over three years now, and we will continue to expand our offering this year by providing more crypto CFDs to clients. I think it is fair to say that crypto and virtual currencies are here to stay, and our plans certainly include finding new ways and better ways to offer our clients access to those products.
4- Scope Markets has had a very high-profile sponsorship of West Ham United since 2018. What are the prime benefits of the partnership, and what can we expect in the near future as WH has had a fantastic season?
As of June 2020, we have upgraded the partnership with West Ham, and we are their sleeve partners as well. We are stoked to be partners with a team that promotes diversity, hard work, unwavering devotion to their fans and has been very successful this year. In many ways, we are similar, and this partnership highlights it.
The main benefit of our partnership is the ability to work with a well-established football club to help promote our relatively new brand to a global audience. One of the best things about our partnership Is that both WH and Scope Markets want to be number one, and we care very much about what that means to our clients and to the WH fans.
We will be announcing a fun activation for next season with the club in the coming months, which will focus on trading and how it correlates to certain aspects of football.
5- A new generation of traders onboarded in a post-COVID-19 landscape. Though market volatility rewarded brokers, industry activities have been hit severely. How do you think the industry has been recovering? What can we expect from Scope Markets and the overall FX industry in the future?
This topic will be discussed in detail at the ‘Industry Leaders Roundtable’ panel at the iFX Dubai, but I think the industry itself is not only recovering well but evolving as well.
At Scope Markets, we are consistently working on how we can add more value to our clients. In many ways, this has made us rethink a lot of our strategy, and this has been good for us as a company, and I believe it will be good for our clients. Our focus on education for clients, easy access to trading, transparency and great customer support hasn’t changed, but the way we go about doing it is changing. We have to continue to evolve and get better, but we also have to think about what other services our clients need, which can better enrich their trading experience. I believe in the second half of this year we will be launching some very exciting new products and applications which will highlight what I have said above.
I would also say as an industry, we need to do a better job of not only educating clients but providing better service to a more educated client base. To be fair, I think there are a number of companies in the industry that are starting to do this and, in some cases, doing a very good job of it.