LeapRate interview…Managing Director of capital.com, Guilhem Tranchant sat down with LeapRate to tell us more about the CFD trading provider and their future plans.
Guilhem started his career in 2007 at BNP Paribas CIB in London as an EMTN dealer. Then, he joined Saxo Bank in Paris in 2010 as a Cross-Asset Sales Trader in order to develop and manage an active non-professional client’s portfolio. Guilhem has then been given management duties together with handling RM activities towards all top clients of the bank.
After that he joined CMC Markets end of 2014, first as Head of Sales then as Head of France where he was able to keep developing his sales and management expertise. He also gained an in-depth understanding of all marketing, regulatory & compliance activities as he was part of the decision-making process on these different issues, in close relationship with the HQ in London.
Guilhem joined Capital.com back in August 2020 in order to become the new Managing Director for the UK office. His main focus will be to grow the local UK business across CFD trading and Spread Betting but he will also take part of the growth in all other relevant Western European markets, mainly France, Switzerland and Germany.
LR: Hi Guilhem and thank you for joining LeapRate today. Can you first tell us more about Capital.com and the people behind it?
Guilhem: Capital.com is an online CFD and Spread Betting provider giving access to more than 3,000 financial instruments including Commodities, Currencies, Indices and Equities. We propose all of our clients to have a direct access to our proprietary trading platform, and that they use EQ, our proprietary Artificial Intelligence assistant. EQ identifies biases and unconscious behaviour in order to help traders to eliminate bad habits and improve their approach to trading. Capital.com is an STP (straight through processing) broker whose core business is the retail clientele and serves his clients across the globe. Capital.com is well funded and backed up by investors such as Said Gutseriev, CEO of the oil holding company ForteInvest JSC, and Viktor Prokopenya a Belarusian investor living in London. Capital.com recruited former Exness Chief Digital Officer Jon Squires to be CEO of the group’s operations at the start of the year.
LR: What is the primary focus of Capital.com?
Guilhem: Our main focus is to give all of our clients the most professional and user-friendly service they can expect from a CFD and Spread Betting provider. We put our clients at the centre of all that we do and we consider that customer loyalty is the key for our Company to keep a sustainable and significant growth like we have known in 2020. This is why we always listen carefully to our clients’ feedbacks in order to constantly develop our trading platform functionalities, increase our product offering, give access to more and qualitative educational and market analysis contents. Our ultimate goal is for our clients to become profitable on their trading accounts and this is our role to provide them with a full set of professional tools and services to improve on their results. Our advantage is that we move a lot of the complexity of the user interface behind the product, allowing all levels of traders to find what they want as quickly as possible.
LR: How has Capital.com been managing through this challenging period of global uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic?
Guilhem: As a group, our volumes have grown over more than 900% in 2020, split between our three different entities and we expect next year’s volumes to be significantly higher. The pandemic brought a lot of volatility on the markets, which of course impacted our overall results. But, ultimately, all of our acquisition and retention efforts played a huge part in these results and we can say that 2021 will be as exciting, if not more so, as we keep gaining market shares across the globe and become one of the few top players within the industry.
LR: What steps has your company been taking to address the myriad concerns of clients, employees and partners around safety, platform stability and risk mitigation?
Guilhem: Capital.com is a MiFID investment firm that is regulated and authorised by the FCA in the UK. As such it aims to instil a culture of compliance and always strives to keep clients’ interests at heart. As a Fintech firm, we are technologically driven. Amid Covid-19 restrictions, we were successfully able to demonstrate our capabilities to our clients with no or negligible down time or access issues to the platform. Our clients received an uninterrupted service from us. In addition, we ensured that our customer services department continued to support our clients. As far as our employees are concerned, we are a small firm and we have a flat organisation structure. Employees can address any concerns they have directly with their managers, there are policies and procedures in place for that. As an example, during the Covid-19 situation, we have ensured all our employees’ safety and, as a consequence, they have been required to work from home since March 2020. As far as the stability of our platform is concerned, we know that relying on a trading platform that is 100% stable, even during fast-moving markets, is a key to provide all of our clients with the best possible service. This is why our IT department always ensures that our platform continues to function properly and they provide regular updates by releasing updated versions of the platform so that clients’ information and trading activities remain safe and secure. For risk mitigation, our company has various policies and procedures in place to ensure that any potential risk to our firm and to our clients is quickly identified and efficiently mitigated. In addition, we perform regular reviews of all of our compliance procedures to ensure that we are always 100% in line with all of our regulatory requirements.
LR: You must have some insight into how the global markets have been responding to the coronavirus. Are there any observations you might be able to share?
Guilhem: The word “unprecedented” gets used a lot when it comes to moves in financial markets, but that really was the case in 2020 when it came to the effects of the coronavirus. We have seen massive moves in all markets this year and even as some calm has been restored as the year draws to a close there is still the potential for more volatility in 2021.
The recovery in stock markets has been impressive – the US NASDAQ hit fresh all-time highs in June and the broader S&P500 followed suit in August. These markets have remained strong although as many regions experience the second wave of the virus there could well be some questions in early 2021 as to whether the current lofty valuations of stocks can be maintained.
With so much uncertainty, gold had its chance to shine – although it took a while to pick up some momentum initially as investors deserted all assets in the eye of the corona storm. Eventually, fresh all-time highs for gold were set in August and although it has dropped back since then, it could be another market that enjoys some positive flow in 2021 if uncertainty persists.
It was a year of two halves when it came to various foreign exchange pairs. The US dollar rallied strongly in March as investors searched out the ultimate safe haven of cold hard cash and the dollar index hit its best levels since 2017. With investors finding their risk appetite once again, this move has reversed. The dollar is trading at a two-year low – it will be an interesting market to watch in early 2021 as investors reassess if this sell-off has been overdone. All of this helped the euro of course, with EUR/USD getting back to a 2.5 year high – as Brexit negotiations rumble on at the usual painfully slow pace, there is always the potential for surprises for both the Euro and the Pound in early 2021.
LR: According to you, what has changed for the retail trading industry in 2020, and what to expect in 2021?
Guilhem: The major trend we have seen in 2020 is the fact that a much larger number of retail investors are more educated and experienced than they used to be. It is really important that any new clients on these markets know what they are doing and, thanks to all additional educational and market analysis contents that good brokers offer access to, clients now have more regular and more qualitative information to start strongly in trading and ultimately become profitable regularly.
Also, in terms of trading behaviour, we have seen a decrease on FX volumes as this market is maturing for a few years now. Clients want to invest on stocks they’re familiar with and that they know about as part as their daily lives. We are looking to get the same trend in 2021 with many new IPOs to come on these major companies and clients will probably want to take the opportunity to take positions on all of these companies they know well.
LR: Any new company offerings you want to share with us?
Guilhem: We are proud to announce the release of our MetaTrader service early in 2021, which will be available for all of our clients trading under our CySEC license as a start. This release will allow us to extend our high-quality portfolio of products and to provide all of our clients with a platform many of them have used for a very long time, on all major assets that we cover. MetaTrader will be available for all clients trading under our FCA license as a second step.
For the very first time, Capital.com clients will be able to use MT4 to create their own expert advisors and setup their automated trading strategies. Current MT4 users will be able to connect directly to Capital.com servers from MT4 after they have created their Capital.com trading account.
This complements the successful launch of its Spread Betting service back in May 2020, for GB and Ireland residents. Spread Betting is very popular amongst the local clientele and will remain a key contributor to Capital.com growth for 2021.
The launch of MT4 reflects the ambition of the online broker to keep a sustainable development and ultimately become one of the few top players amongst the online trading industry worldwide.
Experienced writer and journalist, working in the global online trading sector, Steffy is the Editor of LeapRate. She has previous experience as a copywriter and has been with the company since January 2020. Steffy has a British and American Studies degree from St. Kliment Ochridski University in Sofia.