Jesper Ronald Petersen Head of Global Flow & Solutions at Danske Bank
Jesper Ronald Petersen Head of Global Flow & Solutions at Danske Bank

With Jesper Ronald Petersen, head of Global Flow & Solutions at Danske Bank.

Jesper, with the costs associated with providing a leading edge suite of eFX products and services increasing, it’s not surprising some banks are carefully reviewing their investment in e-commerce. How committed is Danske Bank to e-trading?

We are fully committed. Widespread distribution and seamless execution is a major factor in the FX-business and in future, most transactions will be conducted through electronic channels. This cuts the operational risk on both the selling and buying sides. One way for banks, like ourselves, to provide the full e-pallet is to work with complementary banks or niche players, in order to obtain the global reach. Our investment in ecommerce is evaluated from a cost/benefit perspective and prioritised from a business point of view - at some point, a choice must be made whether to be in or out.

Scandinavians are well known for their enthusiastic early adoption of new technologies. Has this characteristic provided you with any advantages in the development and uptake of your FX e-commerce solutions?

Scandinavian corporates and institutions have been fast to adopt to e-channels. We have experienced first mover advantages in the joint venture “RTFX” with Reuters, where we provide prices and liquidity and Reuters provides a widespread distribution-network. A very strong relationship between the two businesses Ð including the IT side of both companies, has proven a major advantage. As a customer-driven bank, we listen carefully to our clients’ expectations. Continuous dialogue and co-operation means we can focus on products and functionality that our clients want, enabling us to offer advanced, proprietary systems with the right level of sophisticated functionality.

Some banks have faced a challenge in persuading sales staff to endorse the e-channel. Have you experienced this and what benefits do you think e-trading is bringing to FX sales professionals?

Yes, we have had our challenges with the sales teams, but they have now experienced the benefits e-channels bring to the relationship with the client. We promote e-trading as an “and/or” rather than an “either/or” option. We offer both the e-tools and our high-level sales professionals for sparring and idea generation, as well as information and knowledge sharing. Generally, e-trading has helped us increase our focus on more complex and structured products, and overall, our relationships with clients have improved. Understanding our clients and their business makes offering tailor-made, solution-based products a natural, easy choice.

Markets Online - Danske Banks’ Currency and Securities trading portal, gives clients the ability to trade currencies, bonds and equities. What advantages do portals that offer a comprehensive “one-stop” trading shop like this, have?

Markets Online is our state-of-the-art proprietary platform, integrated into our Business Online portal and targeted mainly at our corporate clients, with a layout that is logical and easy to use. Through one platform, our clients can trade all asset-classes and get an overview of all transactions with Danske Bank. At the same time, it provides access to market information, prices and rates on FX, Interest Rates, Fixed Income and Securities.

What online FX trading tools, available on Markets Online, are currently proving most popular with your clients?

Generally, our clients perform non-complicated, “plain vanilla” transactions on Markets Online. Besides trading, the most popular feature is the access to market values on all types of transactions - at any time. The feature also has the ability to export data to spreadsheets and Treasury Management Systems. Real time market value of all positions is an important tool for many clients and the recently improved graph functionality has proved a good “new-trade” trigger. A local speciality is the extension of existing forwards, a tool many corporate clients value.

Have you made any recent enhancements to the functionality and features of your eFX trading products and do you plan any in the near future?

Markets Online is the solution for our small and mid-sized corporate clients, whereas Danske Trader, launched in late 2004, is our trading tool for the professional segment of our financial, institutional and large corporate clients. This summer we will add the electronic Order Management to Danske Trader, enabling clients to place, monitor and receive status on their orders around the clock. Combined with our 24hr trading in Copenhagen and SMS/e-mail services, we will be covering most clients’ needs.

What current efforts are you making to extend and expand the reach and distribution of your tradable FX prices and liquidity?

In 2004, we were the first bank to join Reuters RTFX. This proved a very clever move as we gained - and are continuing to gain - new clients. Combining various e-channel possibilities with strong direct marketing has delivered benefits every day. We are continuously examining our participation in various portals i.e. multibanks and ECNs. Some would argue that we are cannibalising ourselves but while this could be the case, we are controlling the moves. We ask the portals not only what they can do for us, but what we provide for them. Our aim is to create a true partnership.

Danske offers a dedicated team focusing on global FX flow 24 hours a day. How successful has this service been and what access do you offer to online FX Research services?

Following the integration of our various local dealing rooms into one major facility in Copenhagen (with one in London and one in Stockholm), we have seen an increase in turnover and profit. One point of entry works - it prevents having to pass order books from one centre to another. Having the same dedicated staff to look after clients around the clock has also proved to be very successful. Our high-level research is available 24/7 from our website. Customised research is produced during the CET time zone with comments and views on the markets available from dealers at all times.