Nauman, please can you give us a quick history of ThinkMarkets and how the firm was established?
ThinkMarkets was established in 2010, during an interesting period for financial markets post-2008 crisis. We felt that this was a great opportunity to offer traders products & service that were innovative, technology-driven and seamless to use. From day one we were focused on two key areas; automation and accessibility. We demonstrated this through our proprietary-built client portal and back-office system, which made the tiresome task of account management and administration simple and fast and we’ve found traders really appreciate these developments so that they can spend less time on client-services tasks and more on trading and finding new opportunities in the markets.
The first two years were very challenging for the business, but our concept caught the attention of traders and to better service them, we established our global headquarters in Melbourne after our AFSL was granted by ASIC, Australia’s financial services watchdog.
This was an ideal location as the time-zone, employeeexpertise and general operating environment suited our business model and helped us to further penetrate markets in the region & continue to meet the needs of our clients.. Furthermore through client demand and volatility in other products, we enhanced our product range to include; metals, energies and stock indices.
ThinkMarkets was positioned as a strong player in Australia and part of our global strategy was to expand into new regulated markets. As part of this strategy we launched the FCA authorised firm in 2015; this was complemented by the acquisition of a UAE regulated firm which allowed us to cater to Middle Eastern based traders and gave us a strong regional presence.
2016 has been a landmark year for the firm with the launch of our proprietary trading platform, ThinkTrader and our rebrand from ThinkForex to ThinkMarkets. We originally originated as a currency derivatives provider where we offered major FX crosses.
However over the last six years we’ve gradually increased our product range to include; stock indices, CFDs, financial spread betting and commodities and we expect to offer a full-suite of CFD equities and bonds in the future. As a result, our rebrand is reflective of our evolving products & services and our future goals, to be a true, international multi-asset provider.
Adil, in 2016 your team launched a proprietary trading platform ThinkTrader. What exclusive features and functionality does this provide which will assist ThinkMarkets to widen even further its appeal amongst the retail trading community and your industry reach?
The ThinkTrader platform was designed & developed with the modern trader in mind, however characteristics of this type of trader have been difficult to define as many platforms have positioned themselves as feature-driven sophisticated solutions.
Contrary to this our research shows that these platforms have failed to appreciate the core needs & requirements of the majority of traders, both novice and advanced, which are; having easy-to-use, simple & stable trading platform. Hence the ThinkTrader, was developed as a multi-device solution with a strong front-end which is visually appealing and comes with a range of tools. This is complemented by its robust back-office capabilities with a dynamic order management solution, low latent execution facilities and open-APIs that connect and inter-operate with trading systems.
One of the core principles behind the ThinkTrader platform was offering users advanced tools through mediums that are easy and simple to use with ThinkTrader being a multidevice solution available on the; web, desktop and mobile. The firm’s strategic focus has been investment and R&D in the mobile platform, with ongoing technological and internet advancements, traders are increasingly managing their portfolios whilst carrying out their normal day-to-day activities and by having a very cultivated, dynamic and indepth mobile trading platform.
The ThinkTrader platform ensures that a user is never away from the market whether that’s at work, holiday or traveling. It has specially manufactured add-ons such as the function of trading from charts, and the ergonomically device designed ‘wheel’ whereby users can select prices and chart timeframes by using their thumb movement.
ThinkTrader complements ThinkMarkets’ existing trading platforms, the MT4. Through its diversified offering it caters to traders who are looking for a point-and-click trading platform that is intuitive, simple to navigate and has an extensive library of tools including the popular pattern recognition tool, advanced technical analysis through indicators and oscillators, and the order-ticket dashboard which allows traders to swiftly execute orders in fast moving markets.
Joe, many brokers focus much of their efforts on attracting new traders but then find it difficult to keep them. How have you overcome that problem at ThinkMarkets?
At ThinkMarkets we offer a wide range of tools and products in order to help educate the trader, no matter what their level of experience. These tools are the same used as the experienced trading team at ThinkMarkets.
Amir, unlike some other online forex providers, ThinkMarkets has a strong value proposition for a wide range of money managers and asset managers. What do they like about the benefits of the programmes you provide?
We are focussed to provide regulated Money manager and asset managers a top notch solution. The firm has developed a comprehensive money manager offering that allows fund managers to on-board their clients via an electronic approval system that is fully automated and connected to the trading platform. This admin-intensive process can be cumbersome and lengthy, however through the Cmanager system, both asset managers and their endusers can join the specified fund through this automated and secure solution. Our institutional offering varies across a wide range of products and asset classes, access to deep liquidity and raw spreads through MT4 or any other GUI the client prefers to use through or FIX API Solution.
Faizan, what derivatives products do you offer and how important is technology in helping you meet the needs of your clients?
ThinkMarkets offer a wide range of derivatives products including; indices, energies, precious metals and forex. We created our own proprietary platform ThinkTrader on web, desktop and mobile for both iOS and Android operating systems along with MetaTrader 4, we have partnered with a number of providers that support traders in different modes, from; copy trading to pattern recognition services, thus providing a complete trading solution to the global trading community.
Technology has been a key driver of growth and development at ThinkMarkets, and over the last few years we’ve allocated substantial resources to automating many of the back office functions via an online portal for our clients, this enables them to manage their account, their profiles and take advantage of add-ons such as our dedicated VPS service - through the click of a button. This approach has allowed us to penetrate new markets quicker and align with the needs of traders who require swift and seamless account on-boarding and management.
The ThinkPortal is an openended system which talks and connects to a number of thirdparty software that we use, most importantly key functions such as account statements, balance transfers and payments can be carried out from the Portal and be updated in realtime.
Overall, the range of products we offer along with our competitive spreads and pricing, coupled with optimal trading execution enables us to cater both to novice and active traders in the market. Since the 1970’s international financial markets have embraced the electronic-phenomena and this notion is the core of ThinkMarkets corporate strategy. We firmly believe that through sophisticated, dynamic and contemporary solutions we can meet the needs of the modern and evolving trader.
Alexandra, ThinkAffiliates which you launched last year is particularly interesting. How does this affiliate service work and what does it offer?
Our Affiliate programme is another example of our strong presence in the digital marketing space. It is a fully automated service which allows affiliates to join and introduce clients smoothly and rapidly. Put simply, Affiliates will receive a fixed payment for each qualified trader they refer to ThinkMarkets. Additionally, our Affiliates can introduce other Affiliates and receive payments for those also.
The programme offers Affiliates the opportunity to promote ThinkMarkets’ services whilst receiving some of the most competitive CPA rates in the industry. Our Affiliate Portal is an innovative and uncomplicated system to use, acting as a bridge between the Affiliate and ourselves. It offers sophisticated marketing and reporting tools that provide straight forward metrics on how affiliates and traders are performing. Further it provides a significant library of marketing tools which allows Affiliates to promote us through various digital mediums such as Blogs, Social Media or Websites with customised tracking and referral links for each Affiliate.
Naeem, what educational, support and other tutorial initiatives does ThinkMarkets provide?
We provide wide range of analysis encompassing all angles of investments and opportunities within them. Our research reports are ahead of the curve and focused on the matters which has potential to bring major swings in the markets. This year has been remarkably busy for us as events such as Brexit and the US elections have brought wild swings in the market. It was imperative for us that our investors know how to interpret these events and how they can utilise the information to make more informed decisions.
Therefore, through webinars, seminars and our research reports, we have highlighted many opportunities for our clients during Brexit, US Elections and the recent remarkable OPEC deal.
Educating our clients is an imperative part of our business and we focus on the strategies which can help them to make more informed decisions. Equity markets over in the US are consistently producing headlines with respect to record highs and we are constantly communicating with our clients how to be on the right side of the trend.
Rob, ThinkMarkets has been experiencing exceptional growth and recently launched an Arabic website. How will you be looking to build on all that work and expand the company’s global footprint and product offering over the next few years?
With ThinkMarkets brand evolution to a multi-asset and multi-platform provider, there are clear opportunities to grow the business in ThinkMarkets original HQ country and beyond.
There is a demand from retail investors to take control of their trading using the benefits of margin FX and CFDs offer.
My focus is presenting ThinkMarkets as fast-growing Australian-based forex and CFD broker with global reach. And that by striving to understand the needs and wants of dynamic traders, ThinkMarkets provides a quality, personal and premium service, allied to a proprietary ThinkTrader platform, that is built in-house and developed with today’s modern-day trader in mind.