CMC Markets

e-Forex speaks with Richard Elston, Head of Institutional at UK-based CMC Markets (CMC), one of the leading international providers of CFD and FX trading.

First Published: e-Forex Magazine 72 / Meet the team / July, 2016

Richard you joined CMC Markets in the middle of last year as the Head of Institutional. What does your job involve?

I oversee the development of the institutional proposition and servicing of the Group’s client base in 20 territories worldwide, and am based out of CMC Markets’ London headquarters.  As Head of Institutional, my immediate focus is on promoting CMC Markets’ new CFD API connectivity, as well as launching our institutional FX product, due later this year. 

Who are the other key members of your Institutional team and what responsibilities do they each have?

CMC Markets has a 10-strong institutional team in London, in addition to institutional support across our offices globally. 

On the sales and relationship management side, working closely with me are David de Juan Sardina, Head of Institutional Sales, and Alex Maslin, Institutional Sales Manager. David focuses on selling and developing the White Label business. Alex’s priority focus is in developing and promoting our API offering to the industry.

The other key areas of our team are the Broker Services department, whose job is to ensure that the requirements of our brokers are met on a day-to-day basis. Institutional Operations, meanwhile, design, build and support our core product offering. Finally, the Marketing team promotes the business and assists existing partners with their own marketing efforts.

CMC Markets

What type of relationships does CMC Markets currently offer?

The institutional business currently makes up about 10% of our revenue, and we are active in 20 countries worldwide.  We reinforced our commitment to enhance the institutional business when we floated in February 2016, and it is seen as a key growth area for the business in 2016/17.  We now offer White Label and Grey Label partnerships, as well as Institutional hedging accounts via both API connectivity and GUI. Later this year, we will also be launching a new FX product. 

CMC Markets has a well-established institutional business that has been building strong partnerships for the past 20 years.
CMC Markets has a well-established institutional business that has been building strong partnerships for the past 20 years.

How would you summarise the main advantages of partnering with CMC Markets which differentiates your firm from many others?

CMC Markets has a well-established institutional business that has been building strong partnerships for the past 20 years. Now sitting in the FTSE 250 and with over 25-years’ experience and in excess of 50,000 clients globally, we have the ability to deliver enough additional liquidity to clear trades that many other companies simply can’t. With a robust balance sheet, we have the award-winning technology, global reach and stability to offer a superior partnership for institutions.

What types of Institutional clients are CMC Markets providing online trading, technology and execution services for?

Our institutional offering is geared to the needs of banks, brokers, and small and emerging funds, as well as asset managers and other proprietary trading vehicles. 

You offer both Grey Label and White Label solutions. How do these differ and who are they designed for?

Our White Label solutions are designed for larger banks and brokers. We offer a White Label solution that deploys bespoke end-to-end processing in a turnkey approach, which enables larger banks and brokers to retain full client ownership and branding, while we host and manage their IT infrastructure and execution.

Our Grey Label is targeted at specialist regulated brokers and asset managers, allowing them to offer their clients full access to CMC Markets’ Next Generation platform and execution, while deploying their own added value service. 

CMC Markets

How important has facilitating liquidity solutions for banks, brokers, funds and trading desks become for CMC Markets?

Liquidity provision is a key cornerstone of our institutional offering. We have seen a real change in traditional prime brokers, who no longer wish to serve a broader client base. Essentially this has created a market gap and as a result, certain companies can no longer access the necessary liquidity and execution they require. This has created an opportunity for a well-capitalised and technologically innovative company such as CMC Markets to step in and fulfil this need.

What services does CMC Markets offer for proprietary trading firms?

Our Institutional Account is a multi-asset trading account deliverable via API and on GUI. It allows institutions to speculate on the markets or hedge exposure.  

Like many leading brokers, a key focus for CMC Markets is the ongoing development of cutting edge technology. How involved are you in that process?

Our knowledge and expertise in this space is driving the institutional tech deliverables, which will help ensure we stay at the forefront of every development. I work closely with our Head of Product, Greg Niebank, to make sure that our technology delivers the high standards expected by the market and am involved at every level.

Alex Maslin (L) and David de Juan Sardina (R)
Alex Maslin (L) and David de Juan Sardina (R)

What steps have you recently been taking to enhance CMC Market’s presence in the international partner space?

Our institutional business is well-established and as I have said, we are currently active in over 20 markets worldwide. However, this year, we are focusing our efforts on further growth across Europe, Latin America and Asia, as well as in the UK through a combination of proactive marketing and PR efforts, a new website, exhibitions and most importantly through strengthening the team with experienced people from across the industry. 

We recently exhibited at the iFX Expo in Cyprus, and will be attending further industry events globally over the course of the year to really build our presence in this space.

In February this year CMC Markets plc listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. In what ways do think this flotation will assist your team in growing the institutional side of the business and meeting your objectives?

Our recent floatation on the LSE – as well as our recent inclusion in the FTSE 250 Index, reinforces our credibility, and highlights the fact that transparency is at the heart of everything we do. We also have a strong balance sheet, and are regulated in many major jurisdictions. All of this means we can effectively demonstrate our strong reputation, which is vital in the growth of our institutional business over the coming years. 

What is the easiest way for firms who are interested in learning more about partnering with CMC to contact you?

The CMC Markets Institutional team is contactable on +44 (0) 20 7170 8300 or Institutional@cmcmarkets.com to discuss future plans and product suites.

Liquidity provision is a key cornerstone of our institutional offering
Liquidity provision is a key cornerstone of our institutional offering