What attracted you to this company?
Being part of the GMO Internet Group, the backing and strong balance sheet of the group immediately offer a hugely advantageous platform on which to build a prime-of-prime service. The opportunity to build something new and enter a relatively small market as an immediately credible participant with the resources and relationships already in place was an immediate attraction.
In what ways does the firm provide all the core elements you will need to create a disruptive institutional offering of the highest standard?
We have all of the building blocks necessary to succeed – namely, strong top-tier prime broker relationships, excellent spot FX and bullion liquidity access which includes all of the Euromoney top 10 counterparties, and a strong balance sheet.
Balance sheet drives the success of any prime-of-prime – it dictates the level of PB relationship that can be attained, the quality of liquidity access, and most importantly, the ability to operate as a secure financial counterparty. We have all of these elements – the GMO Internet Group has a total market capitalisation of $8.36BN, which immediately makes us one of the strongest participants financially within our peer group.
In what ways will you be looking to differentiate your offerings?
Our technology is highly flexible, so whether it is a pre-aggregated price feed, credit intermediation, pricing through venues, or facilitating the clearing of outsourced risk management, we will be able to provide a bespoke experience to our clients in accordance with their requirements.
We will also be able to leverage the strength of our retail franchise – GMO CLICK is the world’s largest retail forex provider and one of the largest entities pricing JPY, which will in time allow us to be a distributor of differentiated pricing to an institutional audience.
What advantages will having the backing of such a large parent company, GMO Financial Holdings, give to your team in penetrating the institutional market?
Our time to market is immediately reduced thanks to the group’s existing PB and liquidity relationships, and we have the resources and support to implement a high-quality technology offering. The GMO name also has a strong degree of recognition thanks to the success of GMO CLICK and the rest of the group, so the familiarity market participants already have with us is certainly an immediate advantage.
Tell us a little about what your strategy is going to be for attracting clients and rolling out new products and services over the coming months.
Our initial focus will be on getting the product ready, and establishing the institutional brand. Especially for a company like GMO with a distinct retail association, we felt it was important to have a separate brand, and we have created the Z.com Global Markets brand from which our institutional services will be offered. We are building a business for the long-term, and we believe clients will naturally be attracted to a top tier prime-of-prime service with a financially secure counterparty.
In the coming months we will be live with liquidity access in multiple data centres in LD4, NY4 and TY3, and access to multiple ECN venues. We will also be visible at the major institutional industry expos and events in getting the word out and introducing our new range of services.