A glimpse at 2018 and the road ahead: achievements, plans, what to expect, in the CEO’s own words
The beginning of a new year always invites to self-analysis and a closer look at one’s achievements. Tradesocio is no exception. As 2018 has come to an eventful close for us as a company, we are looking back and into the future: what we have achieved and what lies ahead. Since no one could sum it up better than our CEO Wael Salem, we pried him away from his busy schedule and touched base on Tradesocio’s evolution throughout the past year, and what we can look forward to in 2019
2018 has been an important year for Tradesocio. What would you single out as a major achievement?
Indeed, it’s been an exciting year for us. We developed a whole new range of products and, in April, we opened a new technical office in Mumbai to help us complete our target milestones as scheduled. Taking a step back in time and looking at the figures, I am proud to say that Tradesocio’s global team has grown by 125% throughout 2018 compared to the previous year. With new talent on board, our turnover exceeded 1000% and we signed up 200% more clients, which translated to an exponentially higher volume of 2,000%. But this is not all, as, within 8 months only, the progress we made was incredible, with 750% more users to our platform and a transaction volume of over 3,000%.
This brought us up another notch in the sense that we have substantially changed our Alpha suite concept and developed it into five fully hosted solutions: our ETF Station, Digital Wealth Advisor (DWA), Separately Managed Accounts (SMA), Mirror Trader and TS Trader, which can be deployed individually. The core benefit of this new concept is that it allows financial institutions to focus more on user experience rather than process management or compliance. Each of these solutions comes with multiple interfacing capabilities, which enable investment services providers to refine and expand their product range and offer more digital investment products.
Additionally, what makes our solutions so special is that financial institutions have the unique opportunity to design and launch their own financial instruments built around ETFs or AMCs and tailor them to their investors’ demands.
The financial landscape is changing as investors shift focus to digital investment products, and this is where Tradesocio comes in with its digital wealth advisory solution and ETF Station, which allow financiers to easily customise and tailor-make their offering to meet even the most sophisticated goals of their investors effortlessly.
That’s very interesting. However, the Alpha suite was also a great tool to have for brokers and other financial institutions. What drove this shift in product development?
Yes, that’s right. However, the rebranding decision had a very specific purpose. While most of the features that the Alpha suite have been preserved in the new packages, such as risk management, liquidity management, account management, fee calculation engine, advisor platform, asset basket management, we have also rebranded other components like TS Marketplace, which makes all financial products or Funds more easily accessible to investors.
The introduction of the five investor experience platforms as individual units with add-on features was driven by the desire to refine our product and make it even more accessible in terms of usability and the multiple purposes it serves: investment, advisory and trading services. Basically, what we did was to redefine and break down our multi-pronged solution into five dedicated investor experiences, which can be easily tailored to the needs of brokerage firms, investment management companies, investment advisory firms, family offices, as well as investment banks, looking to streamline their front, middle and back-office operations.
Which one of these solutions has captured the limelight so far, do you think? Why?
We had great feedback from our clients so far. Financial institutions attending FinovateFall in New York City, the Global WealthTech Summit and the Finance Magnates London Summit showed special interest in the ETF Station and the capability to design their own ETF products. This is truly groundbreaking because there are only a few brokerages that have this capability now, and this is exactly where Tradesocio comes in to assist financial institutions worldwide to tap into new markets, launch bespoke instruments and make them available on global exchanges.
The net asset value traded on the ETF market is estimated to hit above USD 7.6 trillion by the end of 2020. Our technology allows brokerage firms to tap into that market and funnel part of those funds into their organisation.
The next big thing in the financial industry is investment advisory, and again we have the technology for it: DWA. The DWA is one of our key investor experiences, as the demand for advisory services on the market is every greater, and we at Tradesocio supply that demand with our digital wealth advisory platform. This solution essentially allows any financial institution to diversify product range and offer bespoke investment plans.
That is more than enticing. What are you looking forward to in 2019?
Right now we are looking forward to the launch of our new website with a completely new look and feel.
Moving forward, our top priority for 2019 is the finalisation of deployment of our new solutions with our existing clients. Although the year has only just started, we have a lot in our pipeline already. One key milestone for us is the launch of our mobile applications for all investor experiences and make them available to investors worldwide using both iOS and Android devices.
Next on our development agenda comes the AI Aggregator, which will offer financial institutions actionable insights to allow them to build bespoke investment products. Additionally, we will also launch a few other modules that will enhance our solution such as ML Risk Management, TS Marketplace and the 2nd version of our AI Assistant.
But our journey on the tech innovation path does not stop here. We also offer custom solutions for financial institutions, allowing them to add, remove or adjust modules on the already existing architecture. Additionally, we have started working with multiple financial institutions on the development of fully customised solutions for discretionary management, saving, debt, and pension markets.
The next big step for us will to integrate our solutions with banks and sign up more technology partners to strengthen our ecosystem and propel our technology to a growing number of investors.
Last but not least, we are also busy preparing for our major Asian roadshow starting at iFX Expo Asia in Hong Kong which begins on the 22nd of January. It will be a great opportunity for us to engage with thought leaders and key players in the Asian as well as the international financial arena present at the event and showcase our solutions. Additionally, we have initiated talks with a few reputed financial institutions in Hong Kong and it’s going to be an amazing opportunity for us to meet them and extend our discussions after the event. We will then continue our journey to Singapore and Malaysia, where we will visit more companies who showed interest in our solutions.
In February and March, we will travel to Dubai, Australia, the UK, and other European countries, where we will meet with a few of our existing as well as prospective partners.
It’s been an exciting journey for us so far and the team and I are grateful to all our partners who joined us on this trip and we look forward to being their financial technology provider of choice henceforth.
2019 projects as an even more exciting year for us at Tradesocio, with new product releases, case studies, and new partnerships. But more about this, in due course. Watch this space for updates! Also, connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to make sure you never miss our news.