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LeapRate Exclusive Interview… One of the growth industries in the tech sector the past few years has been ‘Cloud Computing’ – delivering fully hosted services over the Internet. The Cloud allows companies and individuals to minimize their own investment in hardware and software, while receiving always-on services and always the latest, up to date technology from third party providers who take care of all the headaches of hosting, data storage, maintenance, upgrades…
Might that system work for regulated brokers?
A Sweden based company called Bricknode recently launched a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution for financial brokers and dealers, where brokers can launch a complete online brokerage system with a click.
We’re pleased to speak today with Bricknode founder and CEO Stefan Willebrand to learn more about it.
LR: Hi Stefan, and thanks for joining us today. Please let us know a little more about Bricknode.
Stefan: The financial industry is currently going through the most significant change since mutual funds were introduced. Financial Technology (FinTech) innovations are adding services that focus on usability and value.
Bricknode wants to put the Fun in finance and has established a FinTech Ecosystem where the participants in the financial industry can meet and create value for each other and their customers.
Bricknode automates delivery of its financial cloud platform and offers transparent pricing online. Recently Bricknode has launched a new website where financial institutions can get a new system instantly and FinTech innovators, app developers and consultants can join its ecosystem.
Bricknode Financial Systems (BFS) can conceptually be equivalent to an operating system like Windows. BFS has the basic framework to enable the construction of special applications. BFS is a cloud-based operating system for finance and an application that Bricknode have built is Bricknode Broker, which is an application for securities brokers that they can use for their management, consulting and Front end. Bricknode has its website on www.bricknode.com where the entire platform is gathered and then launch specific websites for each application, such as www.bricknodebroker.com.
When we talk about the platform, BFS, we call it an horizontal platform, each application is its own vertical. All verticals work together and are a part of our ecosystem.
LR: Where did the idea come from? Where are the people behind it from?
Stefan: The idea actually came from a discussion that Stefan Willebrand and Jack Johansson had about the complexity (risk) and cost of the infrastructure at E*TRADE when Jack was CEO at E*TRADE and Stefan at ayondo.
LR: What are your target markets and clients for the Bricknode broker-in-the-cloud system?
Stefan: Licensed securities brokers in the key financial markets.
LR: How does this differ from, say, a Forex / CFD broker looking to start by offering the MT4 platform?
Stefan: BFS is essentially a turnkey solution for brokers in the retail segment offering long-term investments. At the moment there isn’t much functionality supporting high intensive trading.
LR: What are the key challenges to starting a new online brokerage today? What advice do you have for those looking at doing so?
Stefan: The key challenge besides the regulatory issues is to obtain a reasonable return on investment. The average cost per trade or client has to be low enough to generate a profit with even lower volumes. In addition it shall be possible to quickly develop or replace new product lines, which means that the system needs to be very flexible.