Diversify to Survive

John looks at how one example of an FX specialist diversifying its offering vindicates an article he wrote nine months ago.


After covering the foreign-exchange landscape at the end of last year, John is gratified to see some of the predicted market movements starting to come true.

It's always nice to have a choice; you don't want to go into a restaurant and only be able to accept the set menu, you want to be able to pick and choose to create the optimal meal for that moment in time. Well, that's my feeling anyway.

Towards the end of last year I wrote a feature on the future of the foreign-exchange market; a host of platforms had come to the FX market and users had a plethora of options available to them, with the buy-side in particular shifting to multi-dealer platforms.

The consensus among those I spoke to in the FX market was that there was little chance this situation could last, and that sooner or later, probably sooner, consolidation would come a-knocking.

The world seems to be a very different place than it was in November 2015 and the global FX scene has been thrown into various shades of disarray following the ever-unfolding nightmare that is Brexit.

But, and here there is at least some small consolation for me personally, it's gratifying to see some of the trends that I wrote about starting to come to fruition.

Change It Up

Aggelos, my colleague here in Waters' London office, this week covered the release of a new multi-asset platform by London-based vendor, ThinkMarkets.

While that in itself may not be an earth-shattering announcement in our line of work, it's an excellent example of how the FX world is developing.

ThinkMarkets was formerly known as ThinkForex, an FX-dedicated specialist, which has now rebranded with the express purpose of diversifying its offering through the new multi-asset platform, ThinkTrader.

While the company website espouses the virtues of growth and evolution, it's hard to also not see that smaller firms cannot continue to dedicate themselves to such a pond without the threat of either being swallowed by a bigger fish or sinking out sight altogether.

When I wrote the FX feature last year, Thomson Reuters' Phil Weisberg told me: "Being in the FX business has gotten very complicated and it's going to get more complicated."

He was not wrong, and in order to survive, diversification looks to be the key.

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