Financial news giant Investing.com is in the midst of major changes. Finance Magnates learned that the multi-asset news and analysis portal has hired Omer Shvili as its new chief executive officer. Shvili replaced the prior CEO, Mickey Vinitsky, who served in the role since early 2018, and also ended a period when two co-CEOs managed the firm.
Concurrently, the firm is in the process of shifting back to its core business – thus scaling down side projects it introduced lately.
Shvili is an internet entrepreneur who founded a few online companies during the last 20 years. He is also an industry veteran with an impressive millage in leading firms.
His most prominent project was establishing FX brokerage Markets.com in 2008. The firm was later acquired by the gaming giant Playtech for over €450 million in 2015 and is now at the core of its tradetech business.
He later went on to establish the marketing tech firm Whitenoise, which developed a machine learning-based ad-words campaign management tool, coupled with automated comparison site management. The company was running comparison sites in multiple verticals, from e-commerce to gaming, FX/CFD, and crypto. It was eventually one of the largest affiliates in the CFDs and crypto space in 2017 and 2018.
His last project brought him closer to his current workplace. Last year he established a joint venture with investing.com called Investing Media, where he utilized his experience and know-how he accumulated at Whitenose to create an advertising arm within the news company.
Harnessing the know-how for the new role
“What lead to me taking over the CEO role was the successful JV (Investing Media) that we launched a year ago. I know investing.com for many years (I was a client of theirs when I ran Markets.com), and as a partner via the JV got to know the business even better. At one point after discussions with Dror (Dror Efrat, investing.com founder, M.P.), he suggested that I’d take a position in the parent company and come to run the entire company,” Shvili told Finance Magnates.
He added that he intends to further use the data-driven methodologies he built in Whitenoise in his new capacity as the leader of investing.com.
In terms of his primary objective, Shvili said: “The plan is to continue growing and developing this incredible business. It’s a very unique asset [sic], which is currently the #2 financial site in the world (behind only Yahoo Finance), and we’re growing faster than Yahoo, so I believe we’ll eventually catch up to them and take the #1 spot.”
Back to the basics
Shvili’s first goal is to turn the Investing vessel back to its safe shores. During the last few years, the financial knowledge hub has invested in several side projects outside of its usual realm. Last year, for instance, the firm forayed into the world of personal finance, with the launch of a new news site called AllRates.
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Now, Shvili intends to go back to the company’s roots and focus on the content they are famous for. “I’m not looking to expand into new verticals, but rather focus on the financial trading & investing industry – it’s a huge industry, and there is lots more room to grow within the space. Our traffic is relevant to many financial service providers – from equity brokers to ETF providers, robo-advisors, asset managers, and more. There is much more in this space than FX & CFD.”
“Another major effort will be to implement a lot of the methodologies we used at Whitenoise when it comes to monitoring and understanding data via advanced tools and statistical models. Investing.com has huge amounts of traffic and data, so this will be very exciting and has tremendous potential,” he added.
Just like other leading retail investment news-sites, investing.com has put a lot of effort into translating and localizing its content for dozens of communities globally. Shvili intends to walk along those lines and double down on that notion.
“With regards to Geos, we’re spending a lot of effort on localization, and specifically are allocating resources towards our properties in South East Asia. We’ve seen a lot of growth in these markets, and I believe we’ve barely scratched the surface. A lot of our future growth will come from this region.”
100 million users per month
We asked Shvili to elaborate on the site’s performance data. According to the leading traffic information source Similarweb, investing.com has around 100 million visits per month. Shvili has confirmed those figures and noted that obviously, his goal would be to break this record number. “We’re growing all the time, and doing so faster than our direct competitors, so we’re taking a bigger market share all the time.”
He also revealed that during the last year, the company shifted to buying traffic in addition to its organic outreach. “We definitely plan to further expand these initiatives, as we see a lot of potential.” He also noted that the firm plans to further expand its advertising units and pricing mechanisms.
Zero fee models and robo-advisors
We asked Shvili about interesting trends he spotted in the financial industry lately, and how he intends to go about them in his new role.
“Well, one needs to be living on the moon not to notice the uber trend in the US of commission-free stock trading. I assume that, like everything else, this will eventually spread to the rest of the world.”
Another trend he spotted is robo-advisors taking a market share from traditional advisory firms. “I think that like every other industry, machine learning, AI, and automation will affect the financial industry, and we’ll see a lot of disruption in the space.”
“It started 20 years ago from low fee index funds, moved to ETF’s and we’re now seeing the automation and AI technology move the disruption up the value chain to advisory and asset management. Investors the world over are realizing that they’re probably better off having a computer manage their portfolio (at least the asset allocation portion of it at this stage) for a fraction of the fee that we were used to,” he added.