“MEX Exchange is a young brand, and I believe we have had a great start to position ourselves in the market space.”
The Industry Spread speaks to MEX Exchange CEO, Jacob Nel, about the company’s launch, their expected trajectory within the brokerage arena and the organisation’s global rebrand.
Jacob, you joined MEX Exchange in 2016. What has been your focus since joining the organisation?
Since the start of my tenure here at MEX Exchange, the focus has been to develop the brand in Australia, to concentrate on using the latest technology the market has to offer and to see how that makes it easier to enter a mature market like Australia.
It certainly has not been easy at the start, however, with the support of my senior management team, we have placed ourselves in a firm position with technology, our new website and backend systems. We have also established open communication lines with the regulator.
I believe that we have moved into the FinTech area with technology that has been developed in the industry for the industry. My IT team has captured the imagination of how to utilise and integrate all the new and exciting functions that are available today.
As I mentioned in my launch event speech, a company is nothing without their core team that works in the business on a daily basis. I have been lucky to have a very talented core team!
When Courtney (Chief Operating Officer) and I sat down at the start to figure out how we want to run and grow this company, our focus was the culture within the business. I believe ‘culture’ is one of the greatest attributes to growing a successful business; it sets the tone to what needs to be achieved.
One of the hardest things is to manage people successfully, to keep them happy and to keep them motivated. 75% of one’s waking day is spent at work, and if you do not want to be there or be in that environment, you would not be happy to give it a 100%.
What can we expect to see from MEX Exchange in the coming months?
If we look at the last 5-7 years, the industry has evolved into a rebate business model. I would like to see MEX Exchange perfect the model between an OTC product and an IB (introducing broker) business model, where the rebates are ultimately a large determining factor in the industry.
Technology companies around the world have changed their focus from developing tools for individual traders to develop tools for money managers and multi-account operators, multi-tear rebate structures and so forth. This is where I want to keep up with the needs of the business model, to develop a broker with a solution that can accommodate and integrate the IB’s needs.
How many staff are currently within in the Australian team and how many staff do you expect to have within the team by the end of the year?
We are rapidly growing the Australian office with a common goal of finding the right blend between staff and technology:
The current key staff members are:
Jasmin looks after our client experience, from onboarding to welcome emails to follow ups. Jasmin and her team are responsible for giving the client a wholesome experience.
Kofi has been with the company longer than anyone else! He is in charge of the accountancy and the books. Kofi has shown amazing skills to get the foundation and fundamentals into shape so that we can build an empire on top of that.
Artur is in charge of all the technology in MEX Exchange, and this I do not have to tell you: he is on top of his game! Artur is continuously building and improving the infrastructure of MEX Exchange.
Courtney is the backbone of MEX Exchange. As our Chief Operating Officer, she has created the company’s infrastructure. Courtney is an absolute professional from setting up and running a corporation to dealing with staff, from injecting culture into the company to taking charge of the global group’s compliance and structure.
MEX Group has recently gone through a rebranding exercise. What did the company look to achieve with the new branding? What does the new brand represent?
Yes! It has been a very exciting time for our global organisation. Naser Taher, our global Chairman, made a decision to move away from a somewhat ‘stale’ brand and rejuvenate the global business with new ideas, energy and direction.
As a board, we decided to study and understand the success of the broker in the Australian marketplace and how new brokers, like IC Markets and Pepperstone, elevate themselves to be in the top ten most successful retail forex brokers in the world.
The aim is to bring a fresh look to our organisation and to have a positive impact on the market as well.
Why was the launch now, a year after you joined MEX Group and almost six months after the global rebranding?
We felt the need to get our technology and infrastructure in place before presenting the new brand and management team to the industry.
If you look at recent events, FXCM restructuring their brand to Global Brokerage Inc, in my belief, I think the market is looking for a change and a new look, from particularly the big players in the global market.
The global trading industry is highly competitive. What will MEX Exchange provide to the market to grow its customer base?
MEX Group dates back to the beginning of the forex MT4 global movement and has entertained a large global audience of over 180,000 MT4 accounts. MEX have shown that we are not only here to stay but also to evolve with the needs of an ever-changing marketplace. Our focus with MEX Exchange is to explore the latest and
greatest technology so that we can enhance the experience of our customers.
Naser Taher, the Chairman of MEX Group, has shared the plans for a $2 billion USD IPO by 2019-2020. How is MEX Group tracking towards the planned IPO?
The Group’s focus has been to shape our global operations towards a common goal of an IPO that we all share. We have not taken this prospect lightly. The preparation for such an event in the growth of any company has to be respected with the size and the enormity of the tasks ahead. We believe that if we apply our talents within the group, this is a goal that can be achieved within this time frame.
MEX Exchange will play an integral part of the IPO, and there are still many developments in the pipeline to achieve this goal. At this stage, I cannot share the complete plan of how we would like to achieve this IPO, and which assets will be focussed on for the prospectus.
Supporting the launch, some of Australia’s top industry professionals: