Interview with Ilya Holeu, Director of Marketing at cTrader
We have developed a packaged solution suitable for all types of individual and institutional traders and trading styles
Can you tell us your name, position at cTrader, and your professional back ground?
My name is Ilya Holeu, Director of Marketing at cTrader and product manager of cBroker, our complete back-end solution for brokers and financial institutions.
I have 6 years of experience in the financial industry, having been involved in multiple projects within the e-FX market.
cTrader is a relatively new arrival on the forex scene. What type of trader has this been designed for?
We have developed a packaged solution suitable for all types of individual and institutional traders and trading styles.
Experienced traders with a firm knowledge of the financial markets are now looking outside of the flawed market-maker model for a more reliable alternative which offers the full array of in-depth technical analysis tools they are used to. That is what cTrader offers with many additional benefits including multi-level pricing, sub-millisecond latency, detailed charts and the fastest possible execution speeds on the retail market.
cTrader is also the best option available to novice traders. We offer a user-friendly and intuitive interface, while completely negating the possibility of trade interference from broker or third parties, allowing users to practice or trade with ease and peace of mind.
What advantages does cTrader and the agency model offer brokers?
Adopting cTrader will offer two broad advantages to the broker.
ECN and the agency model will introduce a new level of marketability to the broker’s offering. By removing the obvious conflict of interest that exists between broker and trader, we immediately strengthen its salability as a transparent alternative to the flawed model currently dominating the industry.
We’ve taken a model in which brokers’ profits are directly antithetical to the profit of traders, and turned that model around so that broker and trader profits grow in tandem, and that is a far more attractive proposition to traders. This gives an immediate credibility boost in a market struggling to convince over issues of trust and transparency, and at once offers the broker a differentiating service to set them apart from what will soon be ‘old style’ brokers.
This high level of transparency, along with the additional benefits to the trader of using ECN, will attract to the broker a new, more discerning type of trader as well as traders already disaffected with the current broker-client dynamics.
The second benefit comes in more measurable terms: cTrader can directly and considerably increase brokers’ profitability through decreased costs and increased revenue per trader. Brokers should contact us for details of costs and expected revenues, to determine their own cost and profit scenario using their current client database.
Most of the top ten most profitable brokers have already adopted the agency model, albeit outside of a true ECN environment, including heavyweights FXCM and SaxoBank.
The agency model also entails significantly reduced risk – revenue is less impacted by periods of high market volatility, making the agency model ideal for accurate growth and revenue forecasts and detailed business planning.
We provide a fully-hosted and integrated PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution at a remarkably inexpensive cost, meaning brokers need not plan for expenditure on developing, hosting, licensing, ownership, IT infrastructure or additional staff. Implementation is fast, cost effective and can be fully integrated into the broker’s current setup.
Why do many traders continue to register with market makers over an ECN / agency model broker?
There is a lack of a realistic alternative. True ECN has until now been available exclusively to large institutions or individuals with heavy capital, and even then solutions are often underdeveloped.
Traders can also be ill-informed or lured by the promise of a bonus or low spreads. This is symptomatic of the problems being faced by the industry today. In an effort to attract new traders, in particular those ‘burned’ by other brokers, forex companies are competing to offer the highest deposit bonuses. This has created an exceedingly bargain driven market, with traders bonus chasing from broker to broker, while the brokers themselves, concentrated on not losing ground in the battle for new deposits, give customer retention strategies a backseat.
Traders should be asking themselves: what good is a $100 or $500 bonus when you have prohibitive trading platforms with unfilled orders, slow execution speeds and an incapacitated platform at periods of high market volatility?
How has the forex industry changed from two years ago?
I don’t see that there has been a great deal of change over the last two or even five years.
It is a more congested market with brokers competing for short term market share with bonuses and IB CPAs. Public awareness of forex trading has grown and continues to grow, and the market is more liquid than ever before.
But these are all relatively surface issues. The business models have remained the same, and as a result the deep lying problems have also persisted: painstaking trading conditions for traders, and excessive risk and uncertainty for brokers.
cTrader introduces a much needed change. By helping any broker adopt an ECN agency model for sometimes less than half the cost of what they are paying for current solutions, we generate more profit for the broker, provide a superior trading experience for the trader, and align the interest of traders and brokers so that a mutually trusting and beneficial relationship can be built.
So how has the industry changed in the last 2 years? It hasn’t – but ask me again in two years. On that subject, where do you see cTrader two years from now?
In all brokers who are looking to offer an exceptional trading experience to their clients and who recognize the strong trend in retail forex of increased transparency and improved trading conditions, while simultaneouslyincreasing their profits.
What do you think about the forex scam problem?
The biggest issue here is that scams exist where brokers act dishonestly, and sometimes exist when no dishonest activity has taken place. Let me explain:
Brokers who are carrying too much risk can feel backed into a corner, and can sometimes react how many of us would, by pushing back. By conducting unethical business practices, some brokers are trying to protect their interests at the expense of traders.
As a result, and with many traders aware of these practices, they can become quickly suspicious even when brokers act in good faith. Stalled execution in periods of high market volatility, or a take profit missed by one or two pips is enough to cast doubt in the trader’s mind, many of whom will choose to ‘try their luck’ with a different broker. In this way, these practices are having a detrimental effect on the whole industry.
But that is one of the key factors which compelled our emergence into the market. This is a clearly damaged model and we are here to rectify that, by offering a platform through which trades cannot be interfered with any way to the advantage of both traders and brokers.
What other products do you have or that are in development?
cAlgo, our algorithmic trading platform was launched at the end of November. The use of robots to automate trading and create custom indicators has increased in popularity in the last few years, and we provide all the functionality you would expect in a user-friendly coding environment.
cBroker is our broker management software which allows companies to optimize all aspects of their service offering: markups, book keeping, symbol management, etc.
cTrader is a manual trading platform offering the best trading experience available to the e-FX market in a user-friendly, secure and feature rich enviornment
Currently cTrader is only available from FxPro, do you plan to extend the launch to other brokers as well?
Yes. Our exclusivity agreement with FxPro which was signed when the partnership was first announced, recently expired and we plan a complete rollout of cTrader to many of the major brokers and banks in the coming months.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting to trade the forex market?
Find an ECN broker offering cTrader – this will set you on course for the best trading experience available. Avoid market maker platforms and choose cTrader to position yourself for success in a difficult market.