Exclusive: Markets.com launches MarketsX platform in Q1: An interview with Joe Rundle

Joe Rundle Markets.com CEO

LeapRate Exclusive… LeapRate has learned that retail FX broker Markets.com will be launching a new product soon – the MarketsX platform. CEO Joe Rundle joins us today to tell us all about it.

Joe Rundle has been in the Retail FX and CFDs business for 15 years. He began his career at ETX Capital in 2004, working his way up the ranks to become Head of Trading and Partnerships, spending a lot of time along the way helping ETX grow its business abroad, mainly in China. After Arman Tahmassebi was brought in by ETX to be COO in early 2016, effectively blocking his path to the CEO’s office, Mr. Rundle left ETX to join ThinkMarkets in September 2016 (after a brief stopover at GKFX), as was also exclusively reported at the time by LeapRate. He left his position as Director of Trading and Partnerships at ThinkMarkets, and joined Markets.com as its new CEO back in March 2018.

LR: Hi, Joe. You joined Markets.com back in March. Can you let our readers know a little more about the company and the people behind it?

Joe: We are part of the TradeTech Group, the financial division of online gaming and financial trading systems giant Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC), so we’re probably one of the biggest balance sheets in the industry. The TradeTech Group has 3 arms – the B2C arm Markets.com, which I look after; the institutional liquidity provider CFH Clearing; and risk provider Tradetech Alpha.

LR: You left ThinkMarkets to become Markets.com CEO. Apart from the obvious (the CEO position), what else attracted you to Markets.com.

Joe: Like I said, the balance sheet and the backing of Markets.com is huge. We’re as good as, if not bigger than IG Group and Saxo. And I think the way the regulations are changing and the world is evolving, the bigger players will become even bigger and more prominent, and I saw a real opportunity to drive markets forward and have a sustainable, very big company become one of the dominant players in the industry.

LR: Indeed the regulations are changing. There have been a lot of changes lately in the Retail FX broker space, driven both by regulation (like ESMA’s leverage cap) and increasing competition. From your unique perspective, what changes do you envision for the industry in the coming months?

Joe: I think ESMA decisions are becoming permanent across countries anyway, so they are going to become part of the framework. I imagine other regulators like Australia and other countries will follow soon, maybe in slightly different terms, but they will. This is something we welcome – we want the regulations to protect the customer, to help the customer grow. I think that’s going to be a theme for the year. You mentioned the increasing competition – I think initially a lot of people will be driven out of Europe into offshore brokers. That will reverse at a period of time and I think there will be a period of consolidation in the industry. The industry is going to be less profitable for the smaller players to play. There will be a much more change and focus to the customers and creating new products. Things like wealth management and stock trading will be the themes for the coming years.

LR: Throughout your career you’ve always been at London-based, FCA regulated brokerages, while Markets.com is a Cyprus based, CySEC licensed broker. Do you experience any differences so far?

Joe: Markets.com is globally regulated. We are headquartered in Cyprus, but we have regulations everywhere – Australia, South Africa, Virgin Islands. The framework within Europe is fairly similar. There was a perception previously that the Cyprus regulators were slightly easier to deal with, but I think that’s an incorrect perception. The Cypriot regulators offer very good protection to customers, so I think the regulations are there to work with customers, to protect them and to create a framework that allows the industry to flourish. The Cypriot regulator and the FCA regulators are the global counterpart, so we’re all doing that, and like I said – we see ourselves as global, not Cypriot.

LR: How do you see Markets.com setting itself apart from the crowd? Any new services now offering?

Joe: We control our own technology which I think is super important. We’re going to be launching a product aimed at higher value clients called MarketsX towards the end of this quarter. We offer clients unique trading tools, we’re really trying to empower the customer to be able to make all these trading and investment decisions through us, so we have a number of unique tools we’re going to carry on launching for the year. That’s just because we control our own technology and we can do this. It really does set us apart and will allow us to carry on growing above other brokers.

LR: What can we expect to see from Markets.com going forward?

Joe: The MarketsX is the solid name on our Q1 list. We’ll also have a number of new tools and features released soon – we will definitely let you know about them all. Everything in Markets.com is designed to be the home for traders. Customers can come to us, decide all their investment, make their own decisions, and then trade if they choose to.

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