Saxo Bank’s steady approach to the vibrant institutional sector has been bolstered by the appointment of the former President of Citadel Execution Services. The Danish bank that offers multi-asset trading solutions in financial instruments has selected Matteo Cassina as Global Head of Institutional Business in a newly created role which will be based in London. The move reinforces Saxo’s commitment in enhancing its position in the institutional trading environment.
Saxo Bank has been gradually improving its infrastructure to ensure it can compete in the complex institutional market which services, tier 1 and 2 banks, asset and fund managers and corporate clients. In a discussion with the CEO of Saxo Markets, the bank’s UK arm, earlier this year, Forex Magnates learned that Saxo Bank has been focusing its resources in building the key infrastructure to support the needs of firms in the B2B sector. Torben Kaaber explained: “Earlier in 2013 we announced the launch of our Prime offering, we appreciate the requirements of the institutional market and have dedicated the right resources to build and deploy efficient systems, whether its connectivity or market structure.”
Matteo Cassina has been an active participant in investment banking for over 20 years. He has served in senior positions at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Co-CEOs and co-founders, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen commented in a joint statement: “The appointment of a Global Head of Institutional Business is a major strategic step for Saxo Bank. Matteo brings considerable experience and senior market presence, which will prove invaluable as we continue to grow our business rapidly in both the institutional and private retail space. We are proud to have Matteo Cassina on board to drive the institutional growth out of London.”
Advancements in technology have reduced the gap between pure retail and institutional brokers. In addition, firms in the broking sector are technology centric and generally have a head start against banks when deploying and reacting to new initiatives in the e-trading landscape. Mr. Cassina appreciates the positive role technology can play as a key differentiator, he explained in a statement: “I worked for traditional investment banks for almost two decades and feel extremely excited about the opportunity to leverage the latest technology to empower our clients to engage with the markets in an innovative new environment. My last 20 years have been about banking; the next will be about applying radical new technology within the investment banking sector.”
Saxo Bank was one of the first brokers to launch a multi-asset electronic trading platform pre-millenium. The firm launched its benchmark Saxo Trader in 1998. A person close to the firm informed Forex Magnates that the developers and programmers of the first generation of the trading terminal were Russian specialists who had vast experience in the development of sophisticated systems including defence systems. Saxo Bank boasts an IT team exceeding 300 and has spent over $275 million on IT infrastructure, management and maintenance over the last few years, according to its website.
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Mr. Fournais and Mr. Christensen added: “Having refined our award-winning multi-asset trading platform for many years, we are approaching the tipping point where traditional players with old mainframe infrastructures are becoming less competitive. Saxo’s cloud-based solution is disrupting the old ways of doing business in the same way that we have seen technology radically change other industries.”
Saxo Bank has been active among the buy-side, with several clients including Mercury Forex and Insch Capital Management, two Swiss fund managers. However, through the new appointment of an ex-Cital President it’s evident that the bank is keen to target the large managers with AUM of $500 million plus.
Saxo Bank was crowned Best Broker and Best Proprietary Platform at the recent Forex Magnates 2013 Award Ceremony held in London in November.