With the world responding to an unprecedented health crisis, the financial markets have experienced a once-in-a-generation volatility event as asset prices continuously adjust to the full economic impact of the pandemic. IG Group's CEO of APAC and Africa, Kevin Algeo, shares with the The CEO Magazine how the business has operated through these turbulent months and what it's doing in response.
For almost five decades, London-headquartered and FTSE listed online trading provider IG Group has continued to innovate, grow and offer clients an entirely new way of trading.
The company is a global leader in online trading and investments. With offices in sixteen countries around the world, including Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, they give investors access to over 17,000 financial markets through their award-winning trading platform.
"While we’re proud of the success we’ve enjoyed in the past, we’re more focused than ever on responding to our clients’ needs during these extraordinary times to ensure they are positioned to grow now and into the future," says the CEO.
IG Group has recently celebrated the launch of IG Prime. A new prime brokerage solution that provides hedge fund managers and family offices unique access to a range of synthetic products, share trading and financial solutions.
"Our footprint provides our clients with global market access through cutting-edge technology. However, market access is not our only differentiator," says Kevin. "Our focus is on ensuring our interests are aligned with our clients and on delivering tailored answers to their needs.
"Alignment with client interests might seem obvious but it’s certainly not the case for all market makers or hedging providers in the wider financial services sector. We think this sets us apart.
"IG’s business model is based on giving clients the opportunity to trade the world’s financial markets, in exchange for fair and proportionate transaction fees; in doing so we seek to develop long-term relationships based on mutually aligned interests. It also allows our clients to benefit from our Group’s exceptional execution and deep liquidity.
"This combines both market liquidity and the our own internal liquidity to maximise the likelihood of execution while minimising price impact," he continues.
"We’ve removed several hurdles required by most prime offerings. This means that we are in a perfect position to help both new entrants and established institutions with our exceptional execution, deep liquidity and enhanced risk management features across a broad range of assets classes all on a platform that is scalable and flexible."
"During a crisis where we experience severe market dislocations it’s important to remember how paramount both liquidity and solvency become." – Kevin Algeo
The company’s growth has also been driven by its constant investment in technology.
"Core to our success is our multiple-award-winning trading platforms. This includes web-based trading platforms, a suite of mobile trading apps, proprietary execution systems as well as third-party trading access via FIX, MT4, API and Bloomberg EMSX," Kevin says.
"These offer reliable trading, even during periods of intense market activity, plus access to a huge range of tools and functionality."
Moreover, IG Group's institutional trading solutions are designed with a diverse range of professional clients in mind.
"We cater for a variety of intuitional client types including hedge funds, private offices, banks and brokers, asset managers, introducing brokers as well as High Net Worth individuals who require sophisticated trading solutions," Kevin explains.
"In addition to the technology we have ongoing support around the globe covering every time zone along with dedicated relationship managers providing support and expertise."
The company’s ability to continue diversifying is part of its global success. IG evolves with clients’ need front and centre which is core to its business values.
"IG provides a wide range of markets and greater flexibility in trading, while also offering a larger number of available tools and information to conduct in-house technical analysis and research," Kevin shares.
While noting that transparency has been the other key element to IG’s longevity, the company has a unique execution model that internalises much of its flow, filling the customer at their requested price, or better, and then laying off any potential risk.
The company’s core strategy is simple. It focuses on working in partnership with clients by using its strength and resources to help them achieve more.
Kevin has worked in the financial services industry for sixteen years, working through the GFC in 2008 and reflects on how the current crisis compares to the GFC in 2008: "This is a marathon, not a sprint," he says.
"During a crisis where we experience severe market dislocations it’s important to remember how paramount both liquidity and solvency become. The liquidity and solvency of your investments, your investment strategy and even your partners is what will make all the difference."