Gavin White speaks with Finance Feeds at FMLS 2022
At the recent FMLS 2022, Nikolai Isayev from Finance Feeds took the opportunity to sit down with CEO of global prime brokerage, 26 Degrees Global Markets, Gavin White. Rick Steves reported on the three things they discussed: company culture and attracting talent in the United Kingdom (UK), core technology solutions, and the importance of execution quality.
Here’s what they said.
Company Culture and talent in the UK
26 Degrees Global Markets recently announced plans to acquire FCA-regulated GMO-Z.com Trade UK. The acquisition will allow 26 Degrees Global Markets to geographically expand, with the establishment of a UK base and a London office. Finance Feeds were curious as to the impact this may have on the business, particularly in the current context of Brexit and the way it has shaped the finance industry. 26 Degrees Global Markets CEO, Gavin White was invited to share his thoughts on how this may shift the landscape of potential talent for the team and the future of 26 Degrees Global Markets.
Gavin responded, “As Australians we are naturally friendly and approachable and have a real passion for inclusiveness. Our flat plan, egalitarian approach and supportive environment has successfully attracted young talent to the company – 60% of our staff are under 28. This demographic cares intrinsically about social values. That’s why we’re attracting the great talent we have,” he explained.
Gavin continued, “26 Degrees Global Markets has been present in the UK for quite a while, catering to broker-dealer and hedge fund clients”.
“This is where the best talent is based, alongside technology. We see the city as an important hub for investment banking and institutional hedge funds. London is, and always has been, a financial services hub with a lot of innovation and incredible talent,” he said. “We want to attract the smartest people in areas of quant, mathematics, and data analysis and a lot of them are in London.”
It’s clear that 26 Degrees Global Markets have confidence in London’s place in the Finance industry. Although Brexit may appear to have altered European relations, the importance of a strong team and company culture still ring true.
New core technology for full redundancy, security and data
Moving on from the topic of people power, Gavin White and Finance Feeds discussed the importance of core technology to enable full redundancy, security and data. Gavin shared the approach of 26 Degrees Global Markets, consolidating core technology to improve stability and security. This was signaled by the replacement of the legacy systems with oneZero’s solutions.
Gavin explained, “We were at risk of spreading ourselves too thin by trying to be everything to everyone and with all vendors. We spent a lot of time and effort, I have to say, to analyse the platforms. Some were very simple in their commercials and oneZero was one of the most complicated in terms of their commercial proposal but I’m glad we stuck with them because it ended up being exactly what we need.”
He added that “oneZero was the best at providing the full redundancy and security aspect”, qualities that became increasingly appealing as their products were constantly evolving and improving. Gavin continued, “they are ahead of the field and we like that. We want our broker clients to know. We want them to have the ability to analyse and see us against our competitors. That was another strong reason why we chose oneZero”.
Technology remains to be the backbone of a reliable and secure service, evidenced through the time and attention that 26 Degrees Global Markets have afforded these decisions.
Call for brokers to analyse execution quality
Finally, Gavin and Finance Feeds discussed the importance of transparency and execution quality. Calls for transparency in market data usage have, in Gavin White’s opinion, only grown louder in the last couple of years. A number of companies, including 26 Degrees Global Markets, have applauded and signed up to the FX Global Code. However, this isn’t seen as enough, as Gavin argues that the problem with the code “is that it is voluntary”.
Discussing execution quality, Gavin believes that “it will grow and become a very important central part of the industry that you can rely on, but at the moment, it’s difficult given there is no mechanism to ensure that people are following it”. He continues that the onus is thus passed onto brokers to monitor their own systems and ensure they are providing the best possible liquidity and execution for their clients.
Gavin reiterated, “it is not the old days of OTC with no data feeds. There are data feeds associated with these instruments. We’ve got tens of clients that are very much of the opinion there is no free lunch with multi asset data and people are paying and signing up to the licenses to the exchanges.”
“The FX industry needs to get to a stage where big investment banks, LPs, non-bank LPs say, ‘we’re not going to deal with you until you sign [the FX Global Code]’. We’re not there yet but it’s gaining momentum”, he explained.
Gavin is confident that demand for transparency is being met with the potential for real value and change. New channels are being innovated, including the usage of data to derive new financial instruments. The openness to new ideas, from a company expanding at the rate of 26 Degrees Global Markets, presents strong potential for the future of the industry.
In short, the conversation between 26 Degrees Global Markets CEO, Gavin White and Nikolai Isayev from Finance Feeds has highlighted key trends and changes that have risen to the forefront of the financial landscape. Recurring themes include fostering a successful company culture and attracting the best talent, investing in core technology to ensure stability and security, and to finally lead by example through transparency towards clients and competitors.
Keep following along to understand how the financial industry continues to evolve.
To learn more, you can read the Finance Feeds article here.
Watch the full interview at FMLS 2022 here.