After long conversations to choose a name among the finalists for the Forex Person of the Year 2012 title, we finally got the name… well, we should say the names:
Co-founders of London/Limassol-based company Spotware Systems
For their trading platform, cTrader.
cTrader takes a further step toward transparency in the market creation process, and the functions offered by the platform makes it more versatile than other existing trading platforms by offering micro-lots, inverted spreads or partial executions, to offer but a few examples. These characteristics don’t constrain the trader and force them to adopt all-in all-out or over-leveraged strategies. Other advantages of the product are direct market access, mobile access, cloud hosting for algorithmic trading and the fact it is C# programmable. Read the Press Release
We’ve asked the two Russian partners Andrey Pavlov, CEO of Spotware Systems, and Ilya Holeu, Head of Sales and Marketing, to share with us their experience, their goals and visions regarding the development of their successful product.
A gap to fill
Andrey Pavlov and Ilya Holeu are young, but certainly not new arrivals in the financial markets. Andrey, before founding Spotware Systems in 2010, created and sold some technology companies in Europe. “I also worked for a number of tier-1 banks, mostly in the UK. So financial technology is my speciality.”
This experience, together with Ilya’s, helped them finding a niche to develop their company and product. Ilya has 9 years of experience in the FX industry and has worked for different brokers (including FxPro). He has seen “all FX processes from the inside”. This experience let him see “all the weak points and shortcomings of other platforms” and “that running a trading platform can be done in a more efficient, cost effective way.”
How so? Ilya claims there was “definitely a lack, or rather a gap, of a trading platforms that could be defined as NDD/STP/DMA* type of trading technology where traders could be reassured about the fairness and transparency of execution.” Andrey carries on and says: “I liked the ‘fair, modern FX platform’ idea mostly because of the enormous barriers of entry and the huge uptake possibility.”
Alignment of interests
Transparency is a core concept at the center of the development of cTrader. “Transparency is a word that marketing people overuse a little” underlines Andrey. “With cTrader there is no way a bucket-shop broker can mess with execution. It’s just not possible. So if you see a broker offering cTrader – you can be sure that you will be executed properly.”
Ilya elaborates on the concept: “Alignment of interests between trader and broker is just one of the beauties of agency model – whom our platform is made for – where, finally, the market maker literally becomes a broker. The more profitable a trader is, the more volume he or she generates, the better for brokers and in the majority of cases even for price makers – banks. This way brokers become much less volatility-sensitive (of course volatility still drives trading appetite of traders and their activity), but not directly: where there’s higher volatility, more traders lose, and more brokers earn.”
Are they traders themselves? “Let me put it this way”, answered Ilya, “… not yet.” He feels curious about the profession and presumes that “if I had enough time to dedicate to trading, I would primarily be a news and fundamentals trader.” Andrey is an experienced equities trader, but he is not currently trading: “I love trading, but now is not the right time to get high on your own supply. You can’t be a part-time trader. My focus now is on Spotware’s strategy and its execution.”
The cTrader platform was launched in 2011 but 2012 was the most significant year in terms of product consolidation. Ilya remembers what was for him the most important events for the product in 2012: “I would say signing up our first bank for the cTrader/cAlgo suite in early 2012 was a very good proof point for our technology. Another notable milestone was accomplished when we received our ISAE 3402 (formerly SAS 70) Audit by Deloitte.” Andrey continues and adds other milestones to the list: “surpassing 50% of some of our largest brokers’ monthly volumes; releasing numerous charting and cloud features that the other platform can’t even dream about; cTrader Web (our HTML5 front end) surpassing 30% of overall volumes; cAlgo’s developer community growing to thousands of dedicated evangelists; the fact that we signed 40+ great brokers globally and the Spotware team growing to 70 exceptional experts whom I love and respect enormously.”
If 2012 proved to be a fruitful year, the partners still have a lot to accomplish. They have shared some of their goals for 2013 with us. Ilya would like to finally sign up for their 100th client. In terms of the technology, Andrey tells us they will deliver more fascinating cloud features, more asset classes and more applications. “We are far beyond the other platform in terms of the feature-set, usability and philosophical appeal. And we intend to strengthen that further in 2013”, he concludes.
* Non Dealing Desk (NDD) execution, Straight Through Processing (STP) and Direct Market Access (DMA)