An interview with Brian King of Penson Worldwide

Penson Financial Services, Inc. one of the largest broker dealers recently launched MetaTrader4 for its growing FX trading client base.

Penson Financial Services, Inc. one of the largest broker dealers recently launched MetaTrader4 for its growing FX trading client base. With the ‘US client‘ trading rules amendment post Dodd Frank Penson has entered into a strategic relationship with a leading Swiss FX bank. Forexmagnates team caught up with Brian King; Vice President of Sales – FX products, to discuss Penson’s current and future growth plans.

• Please provide an overview of your current business in FX.

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As a global leader in multi-asset class clearing and execution, Penson offers a complete suite of FX trading products and services to correspondents serving both retail and institutional markets. Penson’s broad suite of FX products and services allows correspondents to add an additional dimension to their core business with a powerful FX solution customizable to their needs. Our clients have the confidence they are dealing with one entity who has all the tools and functionality to manage all their accounts; for example, clients can easily move funds between accounts.

• What differentiates Penson’s FX offering?

Penson offers a turn-key FX solution for the retail market allowing our IBs (Introducing Brokers) to either add an additional dimension to their business or to assist them in expanding their presence. Their success is a top priority. Access to Penson’s experienced industry professionals to help you create and grow your FX presence. I started as an IB when I ran an FX division several years ago, was a Branch Manager for a large FCM, and then President of ODL Securities, Inc. prior to joining Penson, so I’ve been in their shoes and understand the challenges they face.

There is also the confidence of knowing your service provider has a non-conflicted business model because Penson does not actively solicit direct FX retail brokerage customers.

Penson Worldwide is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ exchange; in addition, members of the Penson group are regulated in US, Canada, UK and Australia.

• Why did you launch the mt4 platform?

Having been involved in the retail space for over a decade, I have seen the following of MT4 continue to expand. Our business model is to equip our Introducing Brokers with the tools that we believe will help in their success. Strengthening the MT4 offering with the technology and pricing provided by MIG bank, I believe has given our IBs a distinct advantage.

• How has the Dodd Frank ruling affected your business?

The entire industry is subject to enhanced regulation, but in general we haven’t experienced negative effects.

• Many US based brokers have opened up shop in Europe/ Australia are you looking to provide a similar service to your clients?

As Penson already has a global presence, and we do anticipate expanding our FX offering, especially given the interest and inquiries we have already been receiving.

• Can you disclose your current volumes, client number retail and institutional? For the year, monthly,etc..

Penson has reported their client equity to CFTC and Julys figures show the firm currently has retail client equity: $38,518,301.

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• Why should a trader consider Penson?

Traders should consider Penson for our technology, pricing, integrity and service provided by both our IBs and Penson itself. They should consider the ability to trade multiple asset classes as well as our standing as a global leader in multi-asset class clearing and execution.

• How do you foresee your partnership with MIG bank? Will it be a two-way agreement?

We are extremely excited about the recent strategic partnership with MIG bank, Again, equipping our IBs with the technology and pricing that MIG bank is well known for, I believe is a distinct advantage. While no one can predict the future, I do feel that this could be the first of more news to come of strategic relationships with Penson entities and MIG Bank.

• Where do you see retail FX moving e.g. automated trading?

Automated trading is a huge growth area as the modern trader doesn’t want to sit in front of their machine all day. Mobile technology and managed offerings are also increasing,

and traders continue to desire valuable and concise research.

• What can we expect in the future from Penson?

We intend to continue enhancing our offerings in all asset classes and continue to cater to the needs of our IBs.

US brokers are obliged to provide profitability and client numbers to the CFTC, Penson’s Q3 figures for 2011 are as follows:

% of customer directed accounts (non-discretionary)

that were profitable 39.76% % of customer directed accounts (non-discretionary)

that were not profitable 60.24%

Total # of Customer Self Directed Accounts 2168

Brian King can be contacted at, Brian will be following this post and will be happy to respond to any questions/ comments made.

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