LeapRate Interview: ThinkLiquidity expands into London, Michael Quirk looks ahead

North American FX industry risk management solutions provider ThinkLiquidity has recently expanded its operations into London, with Michael Quirk assuming the leadership position of Sales Director.

London being a prominent center for FX, ThinkLiquidity Managing Director Jeff Wilkins explained to LeapRate recently that “ThinkLiquidity is the only full service risk management, technology and white label company in the industry and our expansion into London is a natural progression. Our London office will be the core business development hub of ThinkLiquidity.”

With Mr. Quirk having commenced his new role, LeapRate spoke to him in a detailed interview, in which Mr. Quirk outlined his ethos going forward.

Please tell us a bit about yourself, your career and how you arrived at your new leadership position.

Having worked at Saxo Bank for 5 years, incorporating both retail and institutional positions, I then joined X Open Hub to further develop my technology understanding within the arena.

From X Open Hub I joined Ariel Communications as Head of Global sales, again targeting Brokers from around the globe as a purely technology partner. From a personal perspective I am a husband and a father, and when Mrs Quirk allows it, a keen golfer.

Taking ThinkLiquidity’s risk management solution globally is a very interesting task with which to be charged, especially in bringing the highly respected business that Jeff has established in North America to London. What do you initially seek to achieve, and how do you intend to establish this?

I think you are right in describing the task as interesting, but I also see it as exciting, due to that much respected reputation that Jeff and the team have cultivated through their endeavours out of the US.

It is my responsibility to continue the good work that has gone before me and forge new and prosperous relationships. It is through these new partnerships that ThinkLiquidity’s name will continue to be synonymous with value, integrity and that of a true technology partner to global brokers.

London is the epicenter of institutional FX, and is now becoming a focus for international firms wanting to take retail CFD trading solutions to other regions, with their bespoke platforms and execution model which has until now been specific to the UK. Do you anticipate that ThinkLiquidity’s London operations will become involved in helping international spot FX firms manage the understanding of the British CFD model?

Within our service portfolio, we have previously launched CFD Offerings for numerous brokers worldwide. Within the scope of our relationships with clients we are able to offer services not only on the risk management side of the business, but also the maintenance, education and reporting needed to allow them to address the commercial aspects.

Within the parameters of our services, we are able to embrace any additional products to improve our client’s value proposition.

There have been some very high profile consolidations among London’s long-established CFD companies, with GAIN Capital having bought City Index for $118 million, and LCG being subject to a new investment and new direction in which it aims to provide liquidity and technology. How do you see the potential globalization of British firms, and how can ThinkLiquidity provide services to companies which have been acquired and have new risk considerations?

The consolidation within our industry has brought about an amalgamation of ideas on how risk management should be handled within firms.

The examples you cited are a great illustration of massive brokerages coming together and each may have a different thought process when it comes to managing the business. We are the only company in the industry that can assist in this process and provide a unique perspective from the outside.

The worst thing that could happen in the situation you described would be politics within an organization driving risk policies.

How can firms find a balance between giving low spread, attracting longer term clients, remunerate IBs and partners, yet still remain profitable?

In the current market, brokerages have 2 main ways of remaining profitable; Differentiation and Risk Management. The diminished volatility last year shows brokers the additional value that enhanced risk management can show on the bottom line.

The optimization of books of business to yield maximum returns is paramount at any time, it is just highlighted during the periods of low volatility. It is during these periods that ThinkLiquidity’s value proposition is most advantageous to our clients.

Having the ability to show prospective clients just how we could have optimized their flow through case studies is a very powerful tool, and beneficial for the potential partnership between us.

What new systems does ThinkLiquidity have in development currently that will maximize brokerage efficiency?

In addition to continual development on the current suite of technology products, ThinkLiquidity will be releasing some very interesting tools and services in 2015 that reach well beyond the traditional A book and B book model.

What is ThinkLiquidity’s overall ambition for 2015?

There are many services providers on our industry that have been forced to diversify their offerings over the last few years because the demands of customers have changed and the competitive landscape is altered on nearly a daily basis. We know our business model works. Our customers know our business model works. 2015 is all about letting the world know.

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