iFX EXPO Dubai 2022: Zenfinex’s Cooke on FX broker’s expansion and tech

Rick Steves

Finance Feeds was at iFX EXPO Dubai 2022, one of the most popular finance and fintech B2B conferences in the world.

The event, which took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 22-24 February 2022, brought together FX industry leaders from across the globe looking to engage with their peers, grow their business, and have fun.

Not only was there an incredible speaker lineup, but also in-depth public discussions between industry leaders and thousands of visitors.

As such, the event is where brokers go for more opportunities to grow their business, check on technology providers, spot the trends in the financial technology and digital asset industry, amongst others.

On that note, Finance Feeds had the chance to set up an interview with Nick Cooke from Zenfinex, a globally regulated Forex and CFD broker catering to both retail and institutional clients and offering customized pricing and liquidity setups.

Zenfinex brings UK’s FX and CFD expertise to emerging markets

Nick Cooke is the Founder of the new brokerage firm with plans to become a leader in trading across emerging markets. The company has offices in London, Kuala Lumpur, Limassol, Beirut, Sofia and Dubai. Plans include opening offices in LATAM and Africa in 2022.

As to the regulatory profile, the Zenfinex group has three regulated entities across the UK (FCA), Seychelles (FSA), and one registered in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVGFSA) with an approval in principle for the Dubai’s DIFC (DFSA) of which the firm is completing formalities to launch that entity.

Bringing a new broker into the FX and CFD space, Nick Cooke explained how the idea came about. The industry veteran has been in the industry for about 16 years, having worked in a number of brokers, including FXCM. In 2015, he founded another brokerage GMGL. He operated the company for 2.5 years which was acquired by investors.

In 2018, Cooke decided to apply again for an FCA license, this time with Zenfinex and a brand new business model which aims at emerging markets.

The company has grown to over 30 employees in the first year of operation, with staff coming from several top brokerage firms, such as FXCM, StoneX’s GAIN Capital, and Saxo Bank.

“It’s a big project, multi regional. set out with country directors with expertise and a lot of knowledge. Good connections in the industry in that specific region. I’m more on the commercial side. Matt Wright has more experience on the operational side of the business. We’re here for the long term.”

Matt Wright is the Group CEO at Zenfinex. He joined the broker in November 2021 from Capital Index, where he was CEO for nearly four years. He was Chief Operating Officer EMEA at Gain Capital Forex.com UK for nearly nine years.

Eyes on Asia, MENA, LATAM, and possibly Africa

Asked to explain the company’s slogan “Trade the World”, Nick Cooke said the broker is going global in terms of offices and regulation. And while it has been in business for a couple of years, it is now launching in multiple regions, focusing on Asia, MENA, LATAM, and possibly Africa.

As to the product offering, Zenfinex offers FX, indices, plain vanilla CFDs, but it is also branching into share CFDs, and crypto CFDs.

“We feel it’s a very multi asset, very CFD centric, but we’re pretty well covered in terms of asset classes. Our multi asset broker’s product offering ranges about a thousand products.”

Nikolai Isayev, Editor-in-Chief at Finance Feeds, asked about the challenges of a multi asset offering in terms of managing, liquidity, risk, and execution.

“We have a trading desk, a liquidity manager based in London. We also have an operational office in Cyprus. In terms of managing the bulk, we’ve got multiple liquidity providers connected to our FCA entity. A handful: three on the fx side, a number on the crypto side, the CFD side is well covered as well. 6 very large LPs and we have a team out of London managing that liquidity, and producing that liquidity to our other regulated entities.”

MetaTrader and social trading give way to proprietary technology

As to trading platforms, Zenfinex boasts MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, the latter covering the multi asset side pretty well, he said.

The broker’s mobile app is called ZenConnect, which is a white label of social trading platform, Pelican Trading. “Social trading has exploded in recent years and we wanted to be part of that wave”.

Nick Cooke then showed how ambitious Zenfinex really is. “We’re building our technology at the moment, behind the scenes. Not launched yet. We have a team based in Bulgaria. They’re working hard. Hopefully, we’ll have the app launched by the Summer and there will also be a multi asset mobile application.

“Our plan is to control our destiny. Build tools within the app to appeal to retail traders so they can access the market pretty easily, conveniently, in all these regions we’re looking to target”, he concluded.

With proprietary technology, Zenfinex will have a lot more leeway in terms of a localized offering for each of the regions as they expand across the globe with an eye on emerging markets.

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