Q&A Sessions with Kobi Gur, CEO of Fintech firm Leverate
Kobi Gur, CEO of Fintech firm Leverate sits down for a Q&A session to discuss his personal journey into the industry and his views on where the industry is headed.
Welcome to an exciting and cutting edge new series on FinanceFeeds.
“Industry Influencers” takes a look at the entrepreneurs and companies which are making great steps in the FX and electronic trading industry in terms of innovation, creativity and leadership.
In the first part, FinanceFeeds sits down with the CEOs of this industry to find out more about them, how they got where they are today and what their thoughts are on the way that this business will move forward.
Full name: Kobi Gur
Time with company: 1 year
Years in the industry: 1 year
City of residence: Kfar Saba, Israel
Tell us a little about yourself
I came to Leverate a year ago after having spent five years at Playtech, where I fell in love with the gaming industry. I worked there in everything from projects to R&D, regulation, product and operation.
Before that I worked at Amdocs, where I performed several customer-facing roles and before that, I had a 9 year career in the army. I am 46 years old, I am married and I have three children, a 12 year old girl and 16 and 19 year old boys.
What was your journey like to get to where you are today?
I had two great schools during my professional career. I learned everything I needed to know about operations at Amdocs, while Playtech was a great teacher of business, especially online business.
I came to Leverate armed with this broad knowledge provided by big-scale companies and it has served me well in helping Leverate establish itself as a leader in an industry that is growing in leaps and bounds.
What are some of the things you enjoy outside of work?
I like movies; old, espionage movies especially. I’m also a gamer and I’m pretty good at FIFA. I love different cultures. Traveling has allowed me to get to know and understand other cultures and even when I travel for work I make the time to speak with the locals, to sample the local food and local beer.
I’ve been to North America, most of Europe, India, the Far East and I love seeing the contrasts.
One word that describes you?
More so than a word, a motto: “A man’s word counts”. I inscribe to this motto for everything I do, whether personal or business. I believe in being honest, in keeping one’s word, in doing your best to keep the commitments you’ve made, to others, but especially to yourself.
I am someone who trusts easily, but if that trust is broken, it is almost impossible to get back.
What was your biggest challenge to date that you’ve had to overcome?
A number of years ago I was involved in a big scale project with a major client. We got way in over our heads and everything from the P&L to the scope of the project, to the timeline and the commitment of time and human resources seemed impossible to achieve.
We got off to a rocky start and the road was treacherous. After a year and a half of hard work, we finally got onto the right course and we delivered about 6 months later.
Being involved in something so big and so challenging taught me that no matter how big or how small a project is, you should always evaluate periodically in order to get perspective. I also learned that it is failure that is the best teacher, not success. I also learned that there is no better critic of you than yourself.
What are your thoughts on where the industry is heading?
I see the industry undergoing significant changes, mainly caused by regulation, which is getting stricter, fiercer and wider. We are also going to see marketing costs getting higher and huge pressure on revenues, which will ultimately bring consolidation of brokerages.
We will see less, but larger brokerages dominating the FX landscape. As a result of the financial pressure we should also expect to see a smarter use of technology from the part of brokers and an optimization of every aspect of the business.
This is where tech providers will be able to positively impact the industry and the brokerage’s bottom line.