Open conversation with OANDA’s new APAC CEO Kazuaki Takabatake: Delving deep into news, trading, modernity, Expedia and Tesla

“I’m looking forward to continuing OANDA’s legacy of innovation and being a driver of the continued disruption across markets where traders rely on their platform as a partner to support their trading strategies” – Kazuaki Takabatake.

June this year was a very poignant month for technology-led electronic trading company OANDA Corporation, as its Asia Pacific division, based in Singapore, gained a new CEO, in the form of Former Saxo Bank senior executive Kazuaki Takabatake.

Mr. Takabatake, whose career spans far and wide, is a highly experienced and urbane electronic trading industry leader.

Following in the footsteps of the previous APAC CEO, Rajesh Yohannan, a very high level path is ahead of him. Prior to joining AxiTrader in June, Mr. Yohannan was Managing Director and CEO of OANDA Corporation’s Asia Pacific operations, based in Singapore, a position that he held for three years.

Kazuaki Takabatake casual hi res

He is a fine ambassador for OANDA Corporation, standing out the high quality of leaders that the company both produces and appoints.

Today, we speak in detail to Mr. Takabatake, who gives a great account of how the future will look for OANDA’s APAC division.

 OANDA has been a voice in top-level industry conferences globally, often putting very incisive points across. Is this a direction that you would like to follow and build on, especially given your extensive understanding of electronic trading in the APAC region?

Essentially yes, as an organisation OANDA will continue to offer an opinion on the markets, leveraging our reputation as a trusted source of market commentary for leading publishers throughout the region and hopefully further gaining credibility in terms of providing colour for our clients.

With this in mind, we’re looking to bring a new Asia Pacific spokesperson on board in the not too distant future with a view to increasing the regularity with which we update clients and the media about recent developments in the markets.

This spokesperson will also be a regular contributor to our OANDA |MarketPulse news site, which provides timely and relevant commentary on the major macroeconomic trends, technical analysis, and worldwide events that impact a wide range of asset classes.

Established in 2006 by a team of securities analysts, OANDA | MarketPulse publishes insightful commentary on a daily basis, offering round-the-clock coverage of the world’s largest financial markets.

Joining OANDA as CEO for APAC brings your experience and a technology-focused background with proprietary systems. How does this transfer into the FX sector in terms of leadership qualities?

During the course of my career, I’ve gone from being a trader to a FinTech vendor to working in the capital markets sector, which perfectly positions me for a role with a global leader in online trading services such as OANDA.

And while the firm’s FX business has seen tremendous growth over the last three years, increasing our active client base within the region by 100 percent, there is further room to solidify our brand across a much wider range of asset classes including indices, bonds, commodities and precious metals.

As such, in the coming years we’ll be looking to change public opinion that OANDA is an FX provider, establishing our reputation as a multi-asset trading company that is well positioned to serve high-net-worth individuals.

Bullion is a very popular instrument in Asia, especially in Hong Kong. From two years at Allocated Bullion Solutions as CCO, do you think this is something that you can tailor OANDA’s services toward in Hong Kong?

Our clients can already trade gold with OANDA as a contract for difference (CFD), which have become increasingly popular with retail traders in recent years, due in large to the advent of web-based trading engines such as OANDA’s award-winning platform. CFDs are a derivative that allows retail investors to trade on the price movements of asset classes such as gold, commodities, bonds and indices without the need to physically own them.

This means that traders can significantly reduce the costs associated with ownership and makes them an attractive choice for either diversifying investment portfolios or hedging current holdings to better manage overall market exposure.

What lies ahead at OANDA for further penetration into Asia, and how does the team in Singapore view the important steps that the company needs to accomplish over the next year?

As a team, we remain dedicated in our pursuit of the OANDA growth story across Asia Pacific, however we are also looking to introduce a paradigm shift in the way we are perceived in the market. As a matter of public perception OANDA is typically viewed as a retail FX house, however in reality we provide a range of multi-asset trading services to a wide range of clients and would like to further build our brand as a trusted financial institution in the years to come.

Hong Kong and Singapore are the world’s third and fourth largest financial centres, with Singapore being Asia’s number one institutional and interbank FX sector. OANDA’s ability to integrate into local bank systems to provide OTC trading facilities to bank customers and the recent speculation that OANDA Corporation may look toward becoming a bank stands it in good stead to go into that sector. Is this something that is forthcoming?

I wouldn’t like to speculate on whether OANDA has ambitions to be a bank, however we already have a presence in this arena, and while OANDA’s trading platform is very much a retail product, we also white label the system for banking clients around the world.

We also serve a host of corporate and institutional clients around the globe, and today the company is trusted by some of the world’s leading audit firms, taxation authorities and companies, all of whom turn to OANDA Rates® as the globally recognised standard for accurate exchange rates data.

And while we currently count global brands such as Deloitte, KPMG, PWC, Twitter, Tesla, Expedia and Airbnb among our clients, we are also investing heavily in ensuring small to mid-cap corporates are able to benefit from our FX data as they expand their operations.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your career so far, and what are you looking forward to at OANDA?

Being able to have a front row seat as the APAC financial community shows what is possible with the right technology and platforms has been tremendous.

I’m looking forward to continuing OANDA’s legacy of innovation and being a driver of the continued disruption across markets where traders rely on their platform as a partner to support their trading strategies. OANDA is a technology company at its core and I look forward to being a part of discovering new and better ways to leverage that technology and empower traders to better execute their trading.

Read this next


SteelEye tries ChatGPT for market surveillance

This capability can be used as a starting point for initiating a surveillance investigation and to standardize workflow processes to boost the throughput and consistency of cases. It is also useful when analyzing communications in foreign languages, as the system returns the above insights in English regardless of the languages being used.

Industry News

SEC charges ex-Morgan Stanley advisor of NBA players after $13m fraud

Darryl Matthew Cohen was arrested this week and is facing three different federal counts of fraud, which could amount to 20 years in prison if convicted, besides the SEC complaint. 

Industry News

AWS FinTech Africa Accelerator launched, applications until April 27, 2023

Founders will be offered tech resources, expert guidance, and a global network of industry leaders, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors, associations, and partners, in order to build their fintech products. 

Industry News

Interactive Brokers pays unmatched interest up to USD 4.33% on cash balances over $10,000

For clients of Interactive Brokers, interest accrues daily, and payments are posted on a monthly basis. Interactive Brokers’ cash management is integrated into client broker accounts, making it simple to earn interest and borrow at the lowest rates without transferring cash.

Retail FX

FP Markets adds cTrader to roster of trading platforms that include MT4, MT5, Iress

“Our market share swings towards the more sophisticated segment of traders and we have been inundated with requests for an additional platform with more institutional-style characteristics. The addition of the cTrader trading platform offering allows our clients the choice to further shape their trading experience with us.”

Digital Assets

SEC mulls lawsuit against Coinbase’s staking and spot trading

Shares in Coinbase fell 15 percent after the US Securities and Exchange Commission threatened a potential enforcement action against the crypto exchange over certain products.

Digital Assets

Kraken halts ACH transactions amid banking crisis

San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken says it will no longer process Automated Clearing House (ACH) following the failure of its payments partner, Silvergate Bank.

Digital Assets

French influencers face two years in jail for promoting crypto products

France’s National Assembly’s Economics Committee voted in favor of a law that bans social media influencers from touting risky financial services, including cryptocurrencies.


Exberry’s Guy Melamed on paradigm shift with cloud-native exchanges at FIA Boca 2023

FinanceFeeds Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev spoke with Guy Melamed about Exberry’s cloud-native exchange SaaS platform certified by AWS to bring about a paradigm shift in the industry at a time of cybersecurity concerns.