Breakfast with NetDania Markets CEO Jonas Nielsen in Copenhagen, Denmark: What’s new in mobile platform tech?

Diversity in the trading platform arena has been a subject of great importance over the last few years, the reasons for which are varied as the retail FX trading landscape continues to become increasingly sophisticated and emulate the professional desks of New York and Chicago. Today in Copenhagen, Denmark, FinanceFeeds CEO Andrew Saks-McLeod met with […]

Diversity in the trading platform arena has been a subject of great importance over the last few years, the reasons for which are varied as the retail FX trading landscape continues to become increasingly sophisticated and emulate the professional desks of New York and Chicago.

Today in Copenhagen, Denmark, FinanceFeeds CEO Andrew Saks-McLeod met with Jonas Nielsen, CEO of NetDania Markets over a wienerbrød and fresh orange juice to take a look at the company’s developments and Mr. Nielsen’s viewpoint on current matters of importance.

Looking back at the company’s inauguration, Mr. Nielsen explained “NetDania was founded by our Group CEO Stig Brylle in 1998, and started its business operations with charting packages and streaming data, and then moved into trading platforms.”

“Most of the end users fall into two categories: corporate users of white labels for information terminals, and retail clients of brokers taking our platforms. We have a many trading white labels with CFH Clearing as the liquidity provider. We also have white label partnerships with EBS ICAP on the mobile side. The app is called Watch EBS, and it is a NetDania platform” said Mr. Nielsen.

The mobile way forward

Mobile-led trading environments have risen to prominence among retail FX firms over the last few years, however most of them are third party solutions which are not being used to their greatest potential, and are now beginning to appear dated.

The inflexibility which is innate within third party mobile applications is a hindrance to progress, especially as the electronic trading industry is now leaving the mobile trading era and entering the mobile-led era whereby desktops are beginning to become redundant.

NetDania maintains its Scandinavian ethos in that its mobile application is bespoke and is being not only used by retail traders, but professional and institutional entities also. One particular example is Sungard MarketMap which, whilst the terminal itself is proprietary and entirely owned and developed by Sungard, the MarketMap mobile application is supplied and developed by NetDania, as in the case of EBS ICAP.

Mr. Nielsen further divulged that “Compatriot Danish company CFH Clearing also will use our mobile application which has not yet been released yet but is in the App Store awaiting approval. Currently, the NetStation trading platform is live with CFH Clearing.”

CFH Clearing has had an interesting involvement in some fintech firms in Denmark over recent years, such as Tradimo, and application based platform provider Tradable. It is very clear that the company is very interested in sponsoring startups with clever ideas.

“Tradable is actually being integrated with our mobile application, which is a unique blend” he said. We believe the our combined technology stack will add tremendous value to traders, and that our addition of an existing end-user base and our proven technology is unique”

Where did it all start?

Sophisticated and urbane Mr. Nielsen is one of Denmark’s young and energetic senior executives in the electronic trading and FX related fintech sector, and indeed his credentials are testimony to his understanding of trading technology.

“I was initially brought into the company to work on the trading side to develop a trading division within the firm. The user demand came because they loved the charting that NetDania was producing, therefore a specialist division was necessary” he said.

“Before joining NetDania, I worked with military intelligence for the Danish army, where I worked with reconnaissance against enemy forces. We worked primarily in front of a computer monitor. This was just prior to Afghanistan, where former colleagues were later deployed in Helmand and Kandahar.”

“When Stig laid the groundwork of the company, he was actually in the process of creating an algorithmic trading platform in the early nineties. No one was interested. The charting packaged used for the visualizations caught on, though. We still write specifications in Copenhagen, but the actual development work is now undertaken in Romania where NetDania has 50 employees and a wholly owned subsidiary. It is actually a full company, within which the staff are employed by NetDania, and it is located in Craiova which is a very nice university town. The office there is in a converted upscale villa” explained Mr. Nielsen.

“It is interesting when working internationally” said Mr. Nielsen convivially. “In Denmark, people are very equal, and valued accordingly. You can question your bosses and your voice will be heard, which is a good thing, however in some jurisdictions things are not quite so equal.”

Mobile application and trading platform aimed at professional traders

An interesting and very endearing point with regard to NetDania’s NetStation is the option to capitalize it on a per-seat license basis rather than a volume fee.

Mr. Nielsen elaborated on this matter “We do still have a volume-based fee for brokers offering retail client trading, but we offer a per seat charging schedule for large, corporate and information-only application of NetStation and the mobile application.”

“Although we are a technology provider rather than a financial services company, we have a Danish FSA license for NetDania Markets, allowing us to sell financial analysis on the side of offering technology for trading. Companies can have a white label solution from us and can also be included inside our version of the app. This means that, for example, brokers taking white labels of NetDania technology will also be listed as trading venues inside NetDania’s own version of the application. This is a great way of getting exposure and distribution. It is in fact unique” – Jonas Nielsen, CEO, NetDania Markets

The NetDania Markets Concept

Mr. Nielsen concluded that “This method makes our solution a very interesting business to business offering in that if you’re looking for a full solution provider and you take NetDania directly from CFH Clearing, then you can opt to get exposure to NetDania users. It might land you some leads as well.

“We find that some brokers get very excited and want to do this immediately because they can see the value of being able to tap into an existing userbase, but some don’t understand that they will get exposed to thousands of weekly downloads to build leads and are less eager, placing more emphasis on being concerned about legal bureaucracy or integration. It is a matter for each company to consider, depending on their business model, I would say.”

Photograph: Andrew Saks-McLeod takes a close look at NetDania’s mobile application with NetDania CEO Jonas Nielsen in Copenhagen, Denmark

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