Day two of the 2014 Forex Magnates London Summit finished yesterday, capping off a highly successful event that resulted in the coalescence of key executives from every corner of the industry.
Panel 1: Marketing of FX Products in an Evolving Environment
The first event of the day focused exclusively on marketing and analytics in the FX industry. The panel itself was composed of five leading marketing specialists, including:
- Bart Burggraaf, Managing Director and Partner, MediaGroup London
- Frankie Ho, General Manager, Baidu International
- Kasper Elbjørn, Head of Communications. Saxo Bank
- Erez Shifron, CMO, MTE-Media Ltd.
- John Lewis, CO-Founder and CMO, Conversion Pros
According to Mr. Burggraaf in a statement made during the panel, “The market is moving towards using big data and analytics to measure results and optimize rather than listen to the opinion of the highest paid executive, and that’s also driving some changes in the way people approach broker marketing. For instance, we see a lot less of a focus on offline advertising or expensive premium finance publishers and more towards online, measurable channels such as RTB, PPC and niche industry site display advertising.”
“It used to be very difficult to measure results across multiple channels and countries (for instance from Europe to China). They use different systems and channels, and now its possible – even with free tools – to have centralized systems of reporting. Examples include the Google stack which includes Google Analytics. This google stack is able to measure from beginning to end but not all products are free – much more affordable then they used to be though. Many older brokers built systems in house and these things are more expensive to build. Smaller brokers can take advantage of technology that is available to everyone,” Burggraaf added.
Besides measurement and automation the panel agreed there are bigger picture issues in the industry. According to Mr. Elbjørn in a recent statement during the Marketing Panel, “We need to rebuild trust and work on becoming better in the FX industry. The use of big data is very important. We need to know what we do is the best thing to do. This can include setting up data departments, analyzing big data, etcetera but the key item is generating trust.”
The panel participants also touched on mobile and social traffic. Ultimately brokers weigh satisfying vs. dissatisfying experiences on mobile devices with a significant amount of resources being spent on these.
“One ‘hot tip’ is real-time bidding (RTB) and many brokers are starting to use this with a great return of investment (ROI) and the technology is at a point where any company, small or big can do it. This is a great tactic to employ with search action marketing. Additionally, thought leadership, sharing information through media of all kinds – content in all shapes is driving trust in the FX markets,” noted Mr. Burggraaf in an accompanying statement.
Panel 2: Technological Innovations in FX
The second panel of the day included one of the marquee topics of the day, i.e. technological innovation in the FX industry. The diverse panel constituted the following executives:
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- James Banister, CEO of FXecosystem
- Christian Frahm, Founder and CEO, CFH Group
- Andrew Rossiter, MD, Global Head Information Technology, ADS Securities
- Stig Brylle, CEO and Co-Founder, NetDania
- Sarel Tal, Founder and CEO, AlgoCharge
- Jacob Loveless, Co-Founder and CEO, Lucera Financial Infrastructures
There were several subjects touched on by the panel, including the construction of proprietary platforms in a sea of MT4 providers. A lot of technological platforms have been built in low volatility markets and there is a latent need for stress tests of backends or platforms.
According to Mr. Loveless in a statement during the Technology panel, “There are a number of constructs to monitor, which ultimately necessitates a comprehensive group of personnel. We use a network team, server team, and application teams – your network is ultimately the one telling you about the markets.”
Payments were also a hot topic at the panel, and of particular interest to many of the summit’s attendees. According to Mr. Tal in a panel statement, “I would say there are three main things to make conversions faster. First and foremost, we need to optimize the payment page and when the transaction fails. If the initial transaction fails what do you do then? That is the question.”
Panel 3: IPO Fever – Behind the Scenes
The third and final panel focused on the bourgeoning IPO scene in the United Kingdom and the advantages or disadvantages of going public in the United States. The panel included the following executives:
- Chris Searle, Partner, BDO LLO
- Jonathan Morris, Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP
- John V. Millar, Head of Primary Markets, London Stock Exchange Group
- Victor Golovtchenko, Editor, Forex Magnates
- Marc Cohen, Director, Kreab Gavin Anderson
- Michael Rosenberg, Chairman, Starcom Systems Ltd
In particular, there are several advantages of being in London, namely that it’s centrally located and in Greenwich Mean Time. The world invests in the United Kingdom and traders have access to everything they need in the country.
According to Mr. Searle in a statement during the IPO panel, “It is often said that companies can obtain a higher valuation in the United States as opposed to London. This is a myth. London has everything that most companies from anywhere in the world can want in a capital market.”
Communications come into play as well when weighing whether to go public in the United States or United Kingdom. Perhaps the most important factor however is liquidity – one of the great criticisms is unpromised liquidity and this can effectively undermine even the most successful operations if left unchecked.
Forex Magnates Awards Ceremony
The 2014 Forex Magnates London Summit drew to a close with the Awards Ceremony and the selection of the industry’s elite performers for the year.
- Best Social Trading Network: Myfxbook
- Best Liquidity Provider: CFH Clearing
- Best Educational Tool: FXStreet Learning Center
- Best Binary Service Provider: TRADOLOGIC
- Best Binary Options Broker: 24option
- Best Connectivity Provider: OneZero
- Best Mobile Platform Solution: Tradable
- Best White Label Trading Platform: MetaTrader
- Most Innovative Product: TRADIMO
- Best Forex Broker: Saxo Bank