Following a long career at Bloomberg (and a brief stop at IDT Corp), Mikhail Yakutovich stepped into the CEO role at Forex broker technology provider Finstek in February 2020 – just as Covid-19 came and upended the business world.
How have his first few months gone? How did the pandemic affect operations? What are Forex brokers demanding from their IT and technology partners?
We have Mikhail’s views on that and a whole lot more, exclusively at FNG.
FNG: Hi Mikhail, and thanks for joining us. Please let our audience know a little more about you and Finstek, and your recent decision to move to head the company.
Mikhail: Hi, and thank you for inviting me. I recently joined Finstek because it is a fintech company that produces advanced software for retail brokers. For me, it was a very straightforward decision because technology and trading are two areas that I am passionate about.
FNG: Last year was a very tough one for Retail FX brokers, many of whom make up your client base. But 2020, although tough for many of us personally due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been great for the sector as trading volumes have soared. How has the recent situation affected your business?
Mikhail: Yes, for sure the increased market volatility in 2020 so far has given the brokerage industry a much-needed boost. Increased volatility has seen many new and current market participants looking for robust and innovative technology solutions as their client base and trading volumes increased, and so the need to keep up with more cutting-edge systems with high uptime and fewer crashes.
With regard to our own business, we were one of the first tech companies to move all of our employees to work remotely in the face of COVID-19. It has proven to be a good model for us and if our employees prefer to continue doing it forever, we will welcome the opportunity to support our teams. This in turn allows us to attract some of the best hires.
Overall, this pandemic has taught us a lot and we were ready in many ways with great software that we spent the last few years developing. We are more ready now to compete with some of the best and smartest software solutions for the online FX and CFD brokerage industry.
FNG: We understand that Finstek is working on new trading platform technologies, as well as fully automated onboarding capabilities. Can you let us know a little more about what you’re working on.
Mikhail: Our vision is to provide complete turn-key technology solutions for brokers which will run their entire business from front to back and everything in between. Client onboarding is the very first step, and we very close to launching our Finstek CRM solution with a number of large brokers. Our fully automated onboarding and CRM solution will have all the standard features, and now we go one step further by optimizing the sign-up process to increase the percentage of clients making their first deposit with one of the most optimized and fastest solutions on the market.
We already see a big demand for automated onboarding solutions which is also integrated with some of the best-known providers of KYC and AML services which help provide an incredible onboarding experience for end-users while providing compliant and fully automated solutions for the marketplace.
FNG: Where do you see the FX trading sector heading once the Covid-19 situation is in our rear view mirror?
Mikhail: We are observing that our clients are becoming more advanced and demanding more complicated solutions that were previously seen only in the institutional space. For example, a standalone MT4 bridge is no longer an option, and it should include advanced reporting, complex order routing systems, and a real-time risk management solution. This trend will accelerate going forward, where clients will require cost-effective bundled solutions which would also allow them to manage their risk and liquidity more effectively.
FNG: What else can we expect to hear from Finstek in the coming months?
Mikhail: We will be releasing soon our most advanced Aggregator ever. It is our ultra-low latency MT4/MT5 bridge and complex order routing system, which have been completely developed using the latest and most advanced technology and software architecture principles. This new stack allows us to have greater stability and speed, while at the same time having such unique features such as allowing to apply configurational changes in the middle of the business day without restarting the service. And even more to come!