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Continual modernization is of utmost importance among today’s highly technological, fast and dynamic electronic trading businesses.
So rapid is the evolution of new services, which is equaled by the ever increasing demands of today’s educated and urbane retail FX traders, thus the corporate rejuvenation of 30-year established London Capital Group Holdings plc (LON:LCG) is a fine example of a drive by FX industry commercial mogul Charles-Henri Sabet to turn a flagging, legacy firm which was a hotbed of demotivation, dissent and losses, into a technologically advanced mainstay of the FX industry of the future.
This dichotomy differentiates London Capital Group from technology-focused newcomers, which bring Millenial ideas into the FX world, as the firm is a publicly listed long-standing traditional spread betting firm whose ethos took a total turn in the opposite direction from its roots when Mr. Sabet took the helm.
Mr. Sabet is a specialist in turning companies around, which makes the recent changes the company has made highly interesting, as well as providing intrigue as to what the next step for the firm is.
LeapRate today spoke to Mr. Sabet to discuss his findings when he arrived, and what the company plans to do next to set itself ahead.
“The company was going down rather than growing, so the staff there were losing clients every day and there were no new innovations made for several years. To keep young people motivated you need to show new ideas, have new developments, nice environment, and the company needs to produce nice results” explained Mr. Sabet.
“People need to be happy to come to work. If they wake up and they don’t want to come into the office, then the whole thing is finished” Mr. Sabet explained.
Turning this around is an important initial step in setting a company onto a new and potentially prosperous path, but is most certainly a difficult one.
Mr. Sabet detailed to LeapRate the method of the structural changes to the staff and the challenges that this presented. “A company operating in this sector needs enough capital to operate and to satisfy the safety of clients assets. The first thing I did was to make an injection of money, then during the due diligence period we had a real business plan. We knew that the management was not right to stay. I have been in the industry for more than 25 years, and I brought in a management team which involved leaders of the industry.”
“We then interviewed everyone in the entire firm, we found out who was motivated and who wasn’t, and those we couldn’t keep had to go. Whilst this is a necessary step at the outset of a restructuring plan, it is definitely not our interest to get people out, because we can then lose some of the knowledge within the firm, and will certainly lose money in having to pay them to go, plus there is a cost in the lost time in finding replacements. I usually calculate 10 months loss when replacing a member of staff.”
“We must be able to onboard clients and satisfy them”
“When we arrived in September” explained Mr. Sabet, “the company was down $3.4 million, and we were lucky that the volatility in October was quite high. We made $4.5 million profit between October and December, meaning we finished roughly $1.1 million down, and factored in the redundancies and restructuring cost. My knowledge of the industry and the managers that we brought on board was good and they are highly motivated. We knew who to hire and therefore didn’t have the cost of executive search consultants, or intermediaries” explained Mr. Sabet.
“We must be able to onboard clients and satisfy them. We need to have a good sales team and sales trader service. We are working quite alot on our IT, and our software, and are conducting a complete rebranding, which includes a new website, new logo and new brand in the next two months, as well as a series of new technology tools, which will be the middle of the second part of the year” he said.
LCG Television – The future in all business is audio visual
The young generation carries out its research, whether relating to media, leisure activities or the purchasing of consumer products via many online methods, mainly through the use of dynamic videos and broadcasts on internet-based television, streamed to their tablets or smartphones.
The use of televised media has exploded in recent months, with new applications such as Vine becoming a favorite among the social media generation, and brand new innovations such as Meerkat taking the corporate world by storm.
Mr. Sabet is taking a vital step in the direction of television, placing London Capital Group in a position in which it will be one of just a few very forward-thinking companies to go down that route.
Rowena Harris-Doughty has been appointed Head of LCG TV, the firm’s television channel.
Ms. Harris-Doughty is a media professional with a television career spanning several years. She joins London Capital Group to head LCG TV after 2 years at Alliance News in London, where she covered UK equities, companies and economics.
Prior to that, Ms. Harris-Doughty was a Senior Broadcast Journalist at Dukascopy TV, where she presented industry news on one of the industry’s most prominent channels, preceded by several works at MTV and British radio station Heart 102.4 in Norfolk.
Mr. Sabet explained that the firm has a keen remit to be near to clients and depending on where clients are located, will open offices in several different countries. “When we are ready in terms of technology and marketing, we will forge ahead, and it may be an 18 month program” he explained.
“Today we are a UK spread betting firm where main volumes are coming from equity indexes. In the next 2 years I would like our main product to be FX. We would like to be a multi-product firm which is recognized for this within the next 2 years. I am interested to meet people who have suggestions of an interesting direction for London Capital Group, and our main goal is to develop our brand” concluded Mr. Sabet.
Photographs: Top left, Charles-Henri Sabet, CEO, London Capital Group. Lower right, Rowena Harris-Doughty, Head of LCG TV