This week LeapRate chatted with Sean Tan, Head of Derivatives at newly launched Forex broker PhillipCapital UK. However, those within the trading and investment world are no stranger to the PhillipCapital brand. Sean joined parent company PhillipCapital Singapore in April 2004 on the SGX-DT futures trading floor. The global firm, established in Singapore in 1975 is one of Asia’s leading financial institutions with a worldwide reach extending into Europe, North America and Australia.
PhillipCapital employs over 3,500 staff, services more than 800,000 clients in 16 countries and operates in the major financial centres around the world. PhillipCapital has assets under management and custody worldwide totalling more than USD 22 billion with shareholders’ funds in excess of USD 1 billion. As a company retail Forex is something new for the brand as PhillipCapital provides wealth management, institutional and private client stockbroking, online futures trading, corporate finance, investment research and funds management services.
Sean moved to London in 2012 to start the PhillipCapital UK FX business at bond brokers King and Shaxson, who the PhillipCapital group had acquired in 2002. PhillipCapital UK was launched in 2015, extending the experience and heritage of PhillipCapital to European partners. Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out PhillipCapital UK, it is surely a welcome provider to the United Kingdom’s London FCA regulated brokerage pack.
Given that the PhillipCapital network has grown into one of Asia’s biggest and most successful privately owned financial institutions, do Phillip Capital UK clients feel a sense of comfort knowing they are trading with such a well-respected global firm?
Yes. PhillipCapital’s global presence, combined with 40 years of experience provides us with credibility and trustworthiness that PhillipCapital’s UK clients can rely on. Based in London and regulated by the FCA, we are looking to provide clients with a service that is both personal and professional. We want clients to trade with the knowledge that they are placing their money with a company that is reliable, trustworthy and respected.
Are you mainly servicing self-trading retail clients within the UK? How does institutional business play a role in the firm’s day to day operations?
Our aim at the moment is to build our retail customer base in the UK and mainland Europe, particularly in France where we already have a presence. We can grow at a steady rate and our aim is to form close partnerships with our clients and offer them the highest level of bespoke service in the market.
We are keen to form institutional partnerships with businesses that want to hedge their market exposure in this increasingly globalised market place. Institutional business is not new to us as our existing business in the UK has a 99% institutional client base dealing in fixed income. Our corporate offering also extends to white-label agreements where we can offer our fully licensed MT4 platform and top tier, multi-bank liquidity to brokers with an existing client base.
At the moment MT4 is the only platform offering, does the brokerage have plans to diversify the platform choices?
We chose to launch our London business with the MT4 platform as it is one of the most powerful and popular trading platforms in the market. MT4 remains widely used and well known by retail clients. MT4 is a starting point for PhillipCapital and we are excited about expanding our platform offering after consulting our clients to ensure any new platform meets their demands and needs.
Can you give our readers any insight into current performing metrics since launch?
We have been working with a group of clients to refine our operations and offering, we expect volumes and clients to increase when we officially launch. PhillipCapital UK has taken a long-term view when entering this market and with our financial security and experience in this business, we aim to further our foothold in this industry with plans to extend our product range to single stocks and futures.
Do you plan to expand introducing broker or partner programs in the future?
Yes, we understand the value that an introducing broker or partner can bring to PhillipCapital UK and we are looking to develop these relationships. We are working hard to provide as much value in the trading experience to our clients and we believe that this value can be passed on through a wider network of introducing brokers and partners.
Where is the firm getting its liquidity from? How do you feel concerning brokerage risk management in light of the Swiss Franc spike back on Jan 15th, how can retail firms ensure they are protecting themselves and client funds from any future shocks.
We source our liquidity from 24 Tier 1 institutions, enabling us to offer deep liquidity at competitive spreads. PhillipCapital has always practiced rigorous risk management and following the Swiss Franc move, we saw negligible losses due to our vigilant management of company and client risk. Our clients are aware of the risks when trading margined products and we feel that setting sensible margin requirements and adjusting these to reflect risks in the market can protect our clients’ funds and our stability. PhillipCapital UK is new to London, but not to the industry and the experience that has seen us through many financial crises has equipped us to protect our clients.
Is there anything you want traders, or the industry to know specially regarding PhillipCapital UK? And congratulations on stepping into the FX trading sector with this new office (launched in April of this year.)
PhillipCapital UK is here to stay. As a privately-owned institution, we are taking the long view as we enter the European retail trading space. We want our existing traders and those that join us in the future to know that they can rely on us as a trustworthy personal brokerage; when our clients speak, we will listen. We have been around for a long time and will continue to be around for our clients.Thank you. We are very excited about the future and what it holds for our clients and us.