How did you find your way into the Forex industry? As a student, I used to get holiday jobs in various ‘open outcry’ exchanges like LIFFE, the LME and the IPE in the city of London. It was visibly exciting and emotionally highly charged as transactions were conducted in trading pits – an experience as far away as you can get from today’s online trading environment. I later spent a couple of years at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. During my time there, I came to interact with traders who were starting to build algorithmic trading systems, something that has developed exponentially over the last twenty years and is of significant interest to me personally. On my return to London, I worked for one of the largest Forex and CFD brokerage firms as a dealer and risk manager and have since set up various operations for companies in this sector, culminating in the establishment of Tickmill UK in London. In your experience, what do you believe are the ingredients of a successful brokerage? From a corporate perspective being authorised and regulated in multiple jurisdictions creates a bedrock of stability for the business. We have long regarded regulation as a necessary part of our business and we embrace it as it is advantageous to both industry participants and clients. A solid capital base is hugely important as it benefits both the relationship Tickmill has with its liquidity providers and with its clients. From a trading perspective we spend a significant amount of time and energy ensuring that the liquidity we pass on to our clients is optimised as much as possible. This is a direct result of being able to access multiple banks and non bank institutions on beneficial terms. Our Tickmill Prime operation has invested heavily in technology, especially in the reduction of latency and we have established Equinix servers in London, New York and Tokyo. With a STP execution model we believe in transparency so that we can match clients’ interests and exceed expectations. Ultimately, though, it is the people within the business that will determine its success. Tickmill has thrived with a diverse team of experienced, reliable and energised professionals working within the organisation focusing on making the business a success. A team with the right culture, foresight and goal-oriented approach can achieve almost anything. In my opinion, Tickmill has become an incredibly visible brand over the past couple of years. What was your strategy for this? Quality, consistency and trust. This is what I believe gives a brand value. Like many successful companies, the Tickmill brand has benefited greatly from ‘word of mouth’; one can never underestimate goodwill. Becoming regulated by the FCA in the UK has also expanded Tickmill’s worldwide coverage to Europe where the brand is relatively new. We continue to attract new clients and importantly their feedback is extremely positive. We are all aware that there is a huge amount of choice out there for the consumer. What makes you different to other providers? We offer a competitive package to all our clients, be they traders just starting out, to a brokerage looking for a FIX API solution through our Tickmill prime service. We have also built up a large client base of Algorithmic traders, so all our systems are geared to generating ultrafast and reliable execution. Education and support is a key goal for Tickmill and we spend a considerable amount of time ensuring clients are aware of and benefit from their trading experiences with us. We like to be innovative, so we are constantly thinking of how we can improve and create tools that help our clients to trade better. We are always on the lookout for innovations that we can adopt and we are open to new ideas, wherever they come from. Can you give some tips to any aspiring future industry leader on how to get ahead? First, you should have a passion for the industry especially if you want to stay in it for a period of time. There is a multitude of diverse jobs within the FX sphere and do not be afraid to be bold and try different areas as the experience is always valuable. The skills that you acquire and people that you meet will always lead to opportunities. What is important is to understand that It takes a team to create success. What are your personal goals and aims for Tickmill for the coming year? Our industry will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Now that MiFID II has been completed successfully, we can look at new technologies like Blockchain to see if they can add superior value to our services. Our mission is to lead the way in enhancing our customer service, product offering, trading tools and education. We have the foresight and ability to make this happen.
Interview with Duncan Anderson of Tickmill Prime | www.tickmillprime.com