Ask Tom

In the second in our series of Ask Tom features, we ask Tom Higgins, CEO of Gold-i, to respond to four more questions relating to liquidity bridges, risk management, integration, and hosting and server management – four key areas which are critical to the smooth running of a successful brokerage. Tom is one of the world’s leading experts in the technical aspects of MT4. His responses below highlight how technology can be used to help brokers using MT4 to run their operations more effectively and profitably.

First Published: e-Forex Magazine 60 / Sponsored Statement / April, 2015

Ask Tom

INTEGRATION: Is it worth integrating your systems or should you keep them all separate?

TH: There are signifi cant advantages to integrating disparate systems – advantages which will save a brokerage both time and money as well as provide increased effi ciencies. For example, an integrated system has a single point of data entry in addition to consolidated risk management and consolidated reporting. It’s worth noting that if there are any technical issues, there’s also a single point of support contact to resolve them.

As MT4 can be integrated with virtually all products, I think one of the biggest benefi ts is that a broker choosing to use MT4 has the freedom to create their ideal product suite – for example, they can choose whichever back offi ce system or risk management tools they prefer and link them all together to create a single, powerful solution which matches their exact needs. 

LIQUIDITY BRIDGES: How do you know which liquidity bridge to choose from all the ones on the market?

TH: I suggest you start by creating a shortlist of wellknown, reputable companies - don’t look outside that shortlist. The next stage is to make a list, in priority order, of your key selection criteria. Areas to consider should include support levels, international coverage, asset class coverage, functionality, reliability, latency, flexibility and innovation. Ask for free trials or access to demo facilities before committing. Your bridge provider will be your long-term technology partner so select a company who you feel is responsive, helpful and who has similar values to your own organisation. 

RISK MANAGEMENT: How can I tell if my risk management systems are up to scratch?

TH: The assessment of your risk management systems is quite simple. Do you have complete visibility over all client positions and P&L? Do you have the ability to lay off your risk into the market or warehouse internally when you choose? Can you analyse your client profi tability now and historically to decide where to place your risk? Are you reconciling your positions daily? If your answer is yes to all of the questions above, then your risk management systems are up to scratch. If not, then you can definitely make improvements. SNB events in January highlighted the importance of risk management tools and we have subsequently seen a surge in interest for our Gold-i Visual Edge tool, which provides dealing desks and risk managers at MT4 brokerages with unparalleled understanding of their clients’ trading performance. Risk management tools such as this will be in high demand this year.  

HOSTING: Why is it more convenient to outsource MT4 server hosting and management than run this in-house?

TH: One of your most important assets is the server that is running your mission critical systems. It needs to be secure, reliable and supported by an MT4 technology expert 24x7. For most brokers, this is only really possible by using a professional hosting service – they either don’t have the MT4 expertise in-house or lack sufficient IT resources. Managing an MT4 environment is extremely complex and time consuming. If this aspect of the business is outsourced, it frees up more of your time to focus on servicing your clients and growing your brokerage. 

To submit your questions for the next Ask Tom feature, please email Charles@aspmedialtd.com. Gold-i’s products and services include the award-winning Gold-i Bridge, risk management tools, MT4 integration, and hosting and server management. For further information about Gold-i, visit www.gold-i.com