Tools for Brokers at iFX EXPO Asia 2023: Han Ong on what works for FX brokers in Asia
TFB’s newly appointed Head of the Singapore office Han Ong spoke with FinanceFeeds’ Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev about the needs of MT4/5 brokers in Asia.
This year’s’ iFX EXPO Asia took place at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld.
From 20 to 22 June, the arena hosted 3,000 attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors which included successful start-ups, leading international brands, and industry giants.
Among the leading FX brands present at iFX EXPO Asia 2023 was Tools for Brokers, the London-headquartered technology provider of MT4/MT5 solutions for retail brokers. Also known as TFB, the company offers an ecosystem of products that covers critical brokerage needs, including a liquidity bridge, a monitoring and reporting solution, a money management system, as well as several plugins and applications targeting specific pains.
Tools for Brokers attended the conference after launching access to multi-asset exchange feeds for retail brokers, enhancing the technology migration capabilities, and a series of executive moves, including Michael Levine and Petros Kalaitzis, as well as Han Ong.
TFB has plans for Singapore, Thailand, China, and other APAC countries
To discuss the TFB product offering and the company’s approach to Asia, FinanceFeeds Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev spoke with Han Ong, who was announced as the new Head of Singapore operations days before the expo in Thailand.
As Head of Singapore operations, Han Ong will lead the local office, supporting the team and working closely with TFB’s key customers, as well as being responsible for identifying and developing new business opportunities and expanding the company’s presence in the APAC region.
TFB’s APAC expansion will accommodate current client requirements and underpins its strategy to grow infrastructure and the availability of its product suite in line with local regulations.
FinanceFeeds learned that the Asian market plays a critical role for Tools for Brokers, which has many plans for Singapore, Thailand, China, and other APAC countries. Han Ong, however, chose to hold his cards close to his chest on that topic during the interview.
The Top 5 solutions in Asia
The Singapore-based executive was keen to discuss the most in-demand solutions by Tools for Brokers in Asia: Trade Processor, Copy Trading, PAMM, Credit Management, and Leverage Changer, in this order.
“Trade Processor is the main centerpiece of our technology. It provides liquidity bridging to our clients and enables the trading process and our clients to rapidly execute with the best pricing and with the least latency. Many of our local clients start with the Trade Processor for the workflow and then add on other solutions from there.
“Copy Trading and PAMM are somewhat similar. They aim for the same goal but do it differently”, he said about the money management solutions for broker clients. “These solutions are used by broker clients to attract money managers, investors, and accounts that don’t want to do the trading themselves – they trust it to a money manager. For brokers, it attracts a new target audience. This is where social trading actually comes into play. In this region, social trading is quite popular. Many of our clients leverage copy trading as a foundation for their social trading offering.
How business gets done in Asia
Han Ong noted that Tools for Brokers is heavily invested in R&D in order to keep up with the growth of this region and to provide the best technology and service quality possible to address FX/CFD brokers’ new challenges in operations, marketing, and regulation.
There are challenges for TFB as well, namely when dealing with the different cultures, languages, and business etiquette in the many APAC markets the company is targeting.
The firm approaches prospective clients face-to-face by participating in as many expos as possible, scheduling meetings with clients, and employing referral programs, Han said. “Relationship building is how business gets done in this region.”
Easier migration to TFB expected to result in more broker clients
A recent development was that Tools for Brokers made it easier to migrate to the Trade Processor with the expansion of its FIX API emulator technology.
The move is intended to eliminate a typical headache during migration as clients of prime brokers have to rebuild their connections to continue trading, creating extra management overhead and unwanted risks.
Ong noted that the expansion of the FIX API emulator aimed to address clients’ and prospects’ concerns as some were hesitant to make the switch to TFB on account of the migration challenges.
Now, broker clients can do it faster with a reduced time-to-market. “Our experience is really positive. We’re hoping to see an increment in such requests for migration.”
With the FinanceFeeds interview finished, Han Ong got back to networking and made time count at the intensive B2B event that was iFX EXPO Asia 2023.