Exclusive Interview: GKFX expands in the Middle East, DK Trade launches in June: Group CEO Tunc Akyurt speaks

Exclusive Interview with Tunc Akyurt

LeapRate Exclusive… Tunc Akyurt is the new Group CEO at the Global Kapital Group in charge of the global brokerage business including GKFX Financial Services based in UK.

Akyurt has more than 23 years of in-depth business experience in the financial services industry and management consulting delivering sustainable and profitable business results. His areas of expertise include strategy and business development, business transformation, sustainable growth, design and execution of innovative marketing programs, customer and risk analytics, CRM and digital transformation across key sectors such as banking, insurance, brokerage, retail, telecom and various B2C and B2B sectors.

Throughout Akyurt’s career, he has worked in global and local financial services players such as Capital One Bank, QNB Finansbank, and Akbank. He also has in-depth management consulting experience at global firms such as McKinsey&Company, Peppers & Rogers Group, and N2Growth.

Tunc joins LeapRate today to talk about Global Kapital Group and the company’s plans for the rest of 2019.

LR: Hi, Tunc, and thank you for joining us today. Can you tell us a bit more about the main brand GKFX and the other group level brands such as GKInvest and GKtech?

Tunc: GKFX Financial Services Limited is a FCA licensed brokerage firm and one of the leaders in providing CFD trading, spread betting and foreign exchange products to a diversified client base including retail, institutions and professionals. Our mission is to give traders unparalleled execution and access to the world’s global markets via FIX API, desktop and mobile trading platforms. In addition to its headquarter office in London, GKFX has offices and operations in Germany, Spain, and UAE. Its workforce consists of experienced forex professionals based in main financial hubs such as London, Frankfurt and Dubai.

GKInvest is our brokerage firm based in Indonesia fully regulated by the Indonesian Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (BAPPEBTI). We are serving retail and institutional clients in Indonesia through GKInvest platform. GKINvest has been chosen as the best broker in Indonesia in 2017.

GKTech represents the fintech investment of Global Kapital Group offering fully digital fintech products mainly around e-wallet and digital payments as well as consumer and SME financing in various countries of the world. With advanced use of technology, we are aiming to take fintech based payments and lending to the next level. Our unique AI and scoring technology, coupled with the seamless digital lending process help our partners operate efficiently and stand out from the competition in their markets.

With our broad focus across financial sectors including Foreign Exchange, Commodities, Precious Metals, Options, Equities, Asset Management, Investment Services, Credit and Payment Services, the Global Kapital Group is able to provide multi-lingual services and expertise to clients with diverse requirements ensuring that it remains at the forefront of the financial services industry.

LR: How long have you been Global Kapital Group’s CEO and what has changed in the company since then?

Tunc: I have been the Group CEO in charge of the global brokerage business effective March 2019. We have been working on structural changes within the group adjusting our focus on certain markets and client segments. Our goal is to ensure sustainable and profitable growth for our brokerage business operating in different markets of the world. At the same time, we are trying to strengthen our governance structure for a stronger leadership and much better client experience.

We are also exploring new market opportunities and evaluating various license acquisition opportunities in different markets.

One of the new licenses we acquired happened in Cambodia. GKFX Cambodia is a Derivative Broker, established in 2019, authorised and regulated by SECC offering the best spreads and execution to serve trading needs of Cambodia. Part of the Global Kapital Group with over 10 years of expertise in financial markets, our aim is to be a leading broker in Cambodia market.

Another relatively new brokerage firm we established is called DK Trade. It is a retail brokerage company established in 2018 and registered by the Financial Services Authority of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. As a part of the Global Kapital Group, DK Trade transfers the years of experience with an objective of being one of the most reliable brokers in the market. We’ll launch DK Trade in certain markets effective June 2019.

There are also couple of other ongoing opportunities still at the evaluation and due-diligence phase.

LR: Global Kapital Group recently decided to re-brand GKFX UK as “GK PRO” starting 1st of June this year. This means you’re not on-boarding new retail and elective professional clients to GKFX UK anymore. What are the pros and cons of this move?

Tunc: Based on our customized new strategy for each market we are operating in, we would like to achieve superior client experience and growth. Therefore, we decided to focus on certain client segments in certain markets. As a result of this strategical change, wholesale business will be our priority focus in UK effective June 1st. We would like to focus on our institutional and professional client base in UK. With this kind of laser focus, we’ll be able to achieve much better client satisfaction and higher quality of customer service. Therefore, we decided to rebrand GKFX UK to GKPRO which underlines our ambition to provide top quality service to professionals and institutions in UK.

Since we won’t onboard new retail and elective professionals anymore in UK platform, we’ll need to ask our existing customers and give them a choice of migrating their accounts to another group brokerage company called AKFX, which is based in Malta and fully regulated by MFSA. From the customer’s point of view, there won’t be any financial disadvantage with their existing accounts. The services and products provided through AKFX will be very similar to the ones provided by GKFX. The accounts of the clients who are not willing to migrate need to be closed based on the regulation by end of May.

LR: You’re in the middle of a potential acquisition process regarding a new brokerage firm based in Middle East. Can you share with us any details about it?

Tunc: Since the acquisition process is not officially closed and we haven’t received the final acceptance of the relevant regulatory body yet, unfortunately, I can’t disclose the details because of the regulated confidentiality rules. On the other hand, what I can say about it is this acquisition will give us the opportunity to provide our products & services in various GCC countries in Middle East to improve our client penetration in the retail brokerage business.

LR: Other exciting news about the company is that you’re about to sign an important sponsorship with a global and popular brand. We’d love to hear more about this future agreement.

Tunc: As you might know, we used to be the official global brokerage sponsor of the famous Italian Football Club, AC Milan, for the last couple of years. Now we would like to sign another sponsorship with another world famous football club to become their global brokerage sponsor.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to disclose the name of the club we have been discussing with until we sign the final agreement. Hopefully I’ll be able to disclose it in couple of months before the new football season starts.

LR: Should we expect new products from you soon?

Tunc: We are in constant listening of our clients feedback provided by our local country branches. Based on these feedbacks, we are considering the possibility to add ETF as well as Bond to our product list to be launched in a few months. There is an ongoing project to get ETF and Bond trading membership. We are planning to launch MT5 at AKFX in the following weeks that will grant us a better flexibility regarding the products we could offer. As of today, AKFX already offers CFDs on equities for over 500 different stocks, we are planning to increase the number of listed instruments following a recent survey that our local offices have done.

LR: What is your brokerage strategy going forward?

Tunc: Our main brokerage strategy going forward is to create significant value through sustainable and focused growth across the world and to ensure superior client experience with top quality customer service. We’ll create customized segment based strategies based on specific client needs in each market. While we improve our leadership in the industry, we’ll also focus on improving our governance structure and employee engagement. We’ll apply systematic and structured risk management policies to manage our risk exposure in the most effective and efficient way. We’ll utilize latest technology and fin-tech based services to improve our product range and client experience at our digital platforms.

LR: How you’d like to achieve your vision and strengthen your governance structure?

Tunc: First of all, this vision will be achieved with the leadership of our investor along with a top quality team of professionals and and strong company culture across all countries we are operating in. Since my first day as the Group CEO, I am trying to be a role model for a better and stronger company culture where we empower our high performing employees and “put clients to number 1 priority”. The headquarter team of Global Kapital Group and all of the local countries work hand-in-hand like “business partners”. We are trying to exchange the communication between all countries so that we can exchange best practices between different countries.

Regarding a better governance structure we have introduced various committees such as executive committee, market risk committee and operational risk committee where all of the relevant top managers come together and make key decisions in a more systematic and analytical way. We are trying to improve all of the key processes affecting client experience and satisfaction. We use advanced technology to improve our analytical capabilities to better understand client behaviour and needs. As a result, we are offering the right clients with the right product through a hassle-free and smooth experience.

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