Matthew Wright is the CEO of Destek Market’s new UK branch. He discussed with Finance Magnates the challenges of breaking into the UK market, the advantages that this market offers, and how regulatory changes affect business for brokers.
Please tell us about yourself and how you reached your current role.
I started in the City straight out of university working on the LIFFE market. I was a fixed income trader for about 10 years but also Head Trader for Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) in the UK and then in the early 2000’s I set up a trading floor for Refco on the south coast.
In 2007 I was asked to run a joint venture between RCG and Gain Capital and was the first employee of Gain UK where I remained for another 9 years helping to build the business into what it is today. I joined Destek Markets UK Ltd in January 2017.
How do you view the current state of the industry?
It’s very easy to be downbeat about our industry because it has had some large regulatory hurdles to navigate and some unscrupulous firms that have unfortunately provided bad PR for all of us. However there are a lot of talented, innovative individuals and companies in the industry striving to be better.
Destek Markets was recently licensed by the FCA and launched a UK branch. How does this fit with the global strategy of its Turkish parent company?
The senior management team at Destek believes that the FCA license is strategically important for the long-term growth of the business because while it is a very strong regulator, it has a very deep knowledge base of our industry and a history of working with firms to help deliver solutions.
Being in the largest financial center in the world with all the expertise and innovation around us is key to our long term strategy.
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You held the role of Chief Operating Officer at GAIN Capital UK. What insights did this position give you regarding managing the local business of an international firm?
There are always challenges when running a local business for an international firm and these are normally cultural. It is very important to make sure that whilst embedding the group culture into the business you also respect the jurisdiction that you are in and remember why you are there.
What are the main challenges in entering the UK market?
The UK market is incredibly competitive with large incumbents with a lot of history so it is in my view pointless to try and spend your way in. We will concentrate on our product and the support we deliver to our clients and build our position over time.
How can a company build its brand name?
I have never professed to be an expert marketeer so I would stick to my philosophy of trying to hire people much smarter than I am to build a brand. That said I think once a company has a strategic direction it is easier define the brand and work out what channels suit the message.
The FCA has issued new limitations on both leverage and bonuses. How does this affect your business?
Well we are of course still awaiting the final outcome from the CP but we have modelled the potential changes and understand the implications as a business. There will be a period of adjustment as we would see lower volumes but as a business we will concentrate on the things we can control and do them well and we remain very upbeat about the future. We have a very strong balance sheet and the group stands behind us, which will be key to future success in this industry I believe and those with weakness will fall away.
How do the changes in the Turkish forex sector, Destek Markets’ prime market, affect its UK business?
Of course the changes in Turkey were unexpected and very difficult but it has had limited effect on our business in the UK.
What new fields or opportunities do you see as growth potential in the market?
Of course I will keep my cards quite close to my chest on this question but I will say that at the moment my entire focus and that of all the great staff at Destek UK and our colleagues in Turkey is on refining our product and supporting our clients. We intend to make Destek a global brand and a force to be reckoned with and we have the tools and the people at our disposal to deliver this.