This day in history: June 10, 2014: Connoisseur, technology and brand enthusiast Drew Izzo becomes CMO at OANDA

In episode ten of this series on FinanceFeeds, we take a look back at “This day in history” within the world of FX. Every Friday morning, we take a journey through annuls of time to look at the various groundbreaking developments that continue to take place in our fascinating industry. Exactly two years have passed since Drew […]

In episode ten of this series on FinanceFeeds, we take a look back at “This day in history” within the world of FX. Every Friday morning, we take a journey through annuls of time to look at the various groundbreaking developments that continue to take place in our fascinating industry.

Exactly two years have passed since Drew Izzo joined technology-led North American electronic trading company OANDA Corporation as Chief Marketing Officer.

San Francisco is more synonymous as a techological development nerve center for the entire world than it is will electronic trading, the financial center of New York and exchange-traded derivatives metropolis of Chicago taking center stage, however for OANDA Corporation, California’s ‘Silicon Valley’ fits the company’s technologically advanced nature quite accurately.

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Drew Izzo

Mr. Izzo’s position as Chief Marketing Officer differs a little from a similar position within many other electronic trading firms, as he is based at the nerve center of the company’s FinTech developments, and has the remit of being fully versed in the company’s technological edge rather than purely financial markets-related matters.

 

In March this year, FinanceFeeds spoke in detail with Mr. Izzo about the company’s masterstroke in acquiring 2,200 Tradestation users from IBFX, when the North American subsidiary of Japanese giant MONEX Group exited the US market.

Mr. Izzo was very keen to take a look at this from a migrationary standpoint, and explained to FinanceFeeds at the time “TradeStation Forex accountholders were accustomed to top technology and a broker that puts them first, which is precisely what they are finding as they start on the OANDA platform.”

“As part of making the transition smooth for these traders, on March 5 OANDA began offering TradeStation Forex accountholders who transfer to the OANDA platform complimentary access to the TradeStation Forex platform. They can use the TradeStation Forex platform for their research and analysis with trade orders being executed using one of OANDA’s platforms” – Drew Izzo, CMO, OANDA Corporation.

“Additionally, OANDA will offer select elite traders who transfer their accounts free introductory access to OANDA advanced charting services. These traders are already seeing that TradeStation Group chose OANDA as a partner in this deal due to the commitment OANDA has to customer service and the legacy of offering a platform with cutting edge technology” concluded Mr. Izzo.

This is a subject upon which Mr. Izzo is indeed an industry expert, as prior to joining OANDA Corporation, he was Vice President of Marketing at IBFX for four years between January 2009 and January 2013, where he was responsible for the company’s marketing efforts whilst IBFX offered MetaTrader 4 and the proprietary Tradestation platform.

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Drew Izzo’s morning view at The Gathering Conference, February 2016

A year and a half after Mr. Izzo’s departure from IBFX, the company sold its MetaTrader 4 client base to FXCM for $5.4 million, retaining its Tradestation customers for another year before exiting the entire US market, by which time the clients were onboarded at OANDA Corporation to the company’s proprietary fxTrade platform.

Indeed, just as electronic trading companies that develop their own software with massive input from Silicon Valley’s finest are leading edge in terms of corporate direction, marketing executives within such firms are often very avantgarde.

Mr. Izzo is no exception, having attended The Gathering in Banff, Alberta, this year.

The Gathering is a conference which focuses on global brands, and as well as discussing the world’s best marques in all industry sectors, the conference is taking a close look at Cult brands for next year.

At a time in which companies in the FX industry are increasingly honing solutions that automatically engage clients, one particular take-away from The Gathering was that “Data, and more specifically structured data, is at the very heart of true personalization, and if you are a marketer, that’s exciting.”

It certainly is, and further demonstrates that we are now in an age where marketing and technology are intrinsically linked.

Mr. Izzo understands this across many sectors. In 2013, he became CEO of Athlete.com, which powers unique per-mile fundraisers for individuals or organizations. Donors pledge donations, participants earn donations by running, walking, hiking or a myriad of other activities, all of which are tracked with athlete.com or partner apps.

He is also no stranger to large venture capital deals.

In March 2008, Mr. Izzo raised $8 million in venture capital for real estate startup Roost.com and conducted online and offline marketing for the company, as well as paid search, SEO, TV and network advertising.

For those outside the FX industry, Drew Izzo may well be a familiar name also, as he was Director of Customer Acquisition and Analytics for global genaeology site Ancestry.com for two years between July 2003 and July 2005.

Mr. Izzo graduated in 2002 from Westminster College in London with an MBA in Marketing, and gained his Batchelors degree from the University of Massachussetts, Amherst, his alma mater being in Hospitality.

Indeed, Mr. Izzo is a connoisseur when it comes to cuisine, as he studied for a year in 1990 at HotelConsult in Switzerland, collecting a certificate in European Cuisine and Hospitality.

Photograph: Drew Izzo (Center) with the OANDA Corporation marketing team.

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