FMLS:2023: Andrew Mreana provides an exclusive sneak peek into cTrader’s 2024 innovations
cTrader’s focus for the next year would be on developing new tools for Introducing Brokers (IBs) and partners, particularly those related to algorithmic (algo) trading, the company’s head of growth told FinanceFeed in an exclusive interview at the Finance Magnates London Summit 2023.
Since its launch in 2012, the London Summit has earned the trust of key finance and Fintech influencers and is renowned for generating business, networking, and the famous FMLS awards. With the event buzzing in full swing, Nikolai Isayev, editor-in-chief of FinanceFeeds, took the opportunity to interview Andrew Mreana, Head of Growth at Spotware Systems.
Nikolai Isayev initiated the conversation by mentioning how Spotware has integrated several complementary solutions into the cTrader platform from service providers for a single sign-on experience. He also noted the ecosystem’s extensive range of integrated providers and 3rd party tools, asking if the trading platform space has become a race for the largest ecosystem that includes everything.
Andrew Mreana, Head of Growth at Spotware Systems, responded affirmatively, acknowledging that the trading platform space has always been competitive. He noted that traders are looking for platforms offering the best execution, ease of use, and seamless experiences from trading to deposit and withdrawal functions, predominantly on mobile platforms. Brokers, on the other hand, seek reliable, diverse, and cost-effective solutions due to the inherent high costs in the business.
Andrew highlighted that the demand from both traders and service providers has spurred fierce competition in the market. He views this competition as healthy, driving the quality of offerings and the introduction of innovative products. He added that many new brokers entering the market prefer out-of-the-box solutions and are not inclined to stick with standard, traditional service providers, thus seeking more innovative and diversified options.
Nikolai commented on how the integration of various service providers into Spotware’s offerings seems to be a response to the demands of market participants. He then asked Andrew about cTrader Invite, launched by Spotware in September, designed to revolutionize the trading experience for both traders and partners and requested an explanation in layman’s terms, along with some practical examples.
Andrew Mreana enthusiastically described cTrader Invite as one of his favorite products, likening it to a marketplace for traders and Introducing Brokers (IBs), offering high transparency and beneficial tools for both groups. He compared the concept to using social media apps for chatting. In such apps, when you invite someone to join your ecosystem and they accept, you can start communicating with them. cTrader Invite operates on a similar principle, facilitating partnerships and interactions between partners and IBs in a transparent manner, which is a new approach compared to traditional methods.
For instance, cTrader users can register in the cTrader Invite app, create a profile with a picture, and fill in details about their trading experience, including their results and suggested strategies. Upon registration, they receive a unique link to share with their community. The key difference, Mreana pointed out, is that when someone clicks on this link, they can see all these details, ensuring transparency for everyone involved. This feature of cTrader Invite allows for more open and informed connections between traders, IBs, and their respective communities.
Nikolai Isayev found the concept of cTrader Invite intriguing and asked Andrew Mreana if its development was driven by market demand or by Spotware identifying a gap in services for service providers.
Mreana confirmed that one of the key benefits of cTrader Invite is its accessibility: any trader can become an IB as long as they have a network of people. He explained that by simply registering on cTrader and revealing one’s profile, a trader receives a unique link. This link is the gateway to start seeing results and tracking the number of people referred. Mreana’s explanation underlines how this approach aligns with the overall trend in fintech towards more integrated and user-friendly platforms, offering diverse functionalities to meet the varied needs of market participants.
Nikolai Isayev inquired about what to expect from cTrader in terms of marketing strategies moving into 2024.
Andrew was optimistic about the future of cTrader but chose not to disclose specific details before their official release. He praised the development team for their efforts in launching cTrader Invite ahead of schedule. Looking forward, Andrew revealed that the focus for the coming year would be on upgrading many tools for Introducing Brokers (IBs) and partners, particularly in the realm of algorithmic (algo) trading. He acknowledged the growing demand in this area, citing the busy schedules of traders and the increasing preference for automated trading solutions.
Mreana hinted at an important announcement from cTrader at the beginning of the next year, suggesting it would be a major development in the algo trading industry. He clarified that this upcoming innovation would aim to assist IBs and traders in becoming more efficient, transparent, and successful in their business endeavors.
Nikolai Isayev was excited about the upcoming developments from Spotware and cTrader, particularly looking forward to the innovations they will introduce in 2024. He highlighted the impressive range of service providers and features that cTrader offers to market participants.
Responding to this, Andrew Mreana offered a sneak peek into some of the additional products they’ve recently launched. He mentioned the introduction of ‘Short Streams with One Click’ and ‘Signal Links,’ which are not typical trading signals but rather a way for one trader to offer trading signals to another trader easily. These products, designed for both IBs and traders, add to the suite of tools that make trading more accessible and efficient.
Mreana reiterated that cTrader has launched three remarkable products towards the end of 2023 and hinted again at the crucial announcement planned for the next year. He assured that this announcement would bring a revolutionary change to the algo trading industry, underlying cTrader’s continuous effort to improve the trading experience for their users.
Nikolai Isayev asked Andrew Mreana about his comments at the FX Expo International in Cyprus regarding My Forex Funds’ collapse and the fragility of the prop trading industry. He also inquired whether its implosion could trigger a domino effect, and how the industry might be preserved.
Mreana clarified that his comments at the FX Expo were based on the hype in the market and concerns about the professionalism and regulation within the prop trading industry. He observed that many individuals involved in prop trading lack professional market knowledge and that the industry is largely unregulated.
The key issue, according to Mreana, is trust. If retail traders lose trust in the prop trading ecosystem or if regulators step in and regulate it as they did with CFDs, it could negatively impact the business. He noted that the risk on the client side in prop trading is relatively low, but the industry’s lack of transparency and uncertainty about the ability of companies to support large liquidity pools are concerning.
Mreana suggested that implementing stringent professional standards within the industry might incentivize Forex brokers to incorporate proprietary trading into their existing businesses. He believes that as long as prop trading is treated with a regulatory mindset, it doesn’t pose a massive problem.
Nikolai Isayev questioned whether addressing the current issues in prop trading could potentially elevate it to become a major aspect of the brokerage industry.
Andrew agreed to the underlying rationale behind the idea, stating that prop trading is already a noteworthy trend in the brokerage industry due to the minimal risk involved for clients. He explained that the inherent human desire to make more money is a driving force behind the popularity of prop trading and that this trend is likely to continue.
Andrew Mreana had recently spoken on a panel titled “Marketing for Brokers and Beyond: Performance, Branding, or Survival” at the FMLS. Nikolai Isayev apologized for not attending the panel and asked Mreana for his insights on the best approach to marketing in the brokerage industry, acknowledging the broad nature of the question.
In response, Mreana highlighted the growing trend of leveraging AI and machine learning in various fields, including marketing.
Nevertheless, Andrew’s focus seems to be on the technological and innovative aspects of trading platforms like cTrader, which he believes play a crucial role in supporting and advancing trends like prop trading in the brokerage industry.