John Webb, who began in the electronic trading industry in 1962 and has held senior positions at some of the world’s largest institutions launches a new product enabling FX brokerages to get into the very stable, non-leveraged and highly profitable sector of FX settlements, via their existing retail FX platforms.
Innovation is the lifeblood of the electronic trading industry, and has always been so.
Rather as in the motor industry, where racing technology, developed at huge cost by heavily sponsored Formula 1 teams, eventually filters down to the road cars that can be found in any supermarket parking area a few years later, at very affordable cost, electronic trading platforms, risk management systems and matching engines are the cutting edge of financial services solutions, which in turn have been developed from the institutional sector at tremendous cost are now available at very low cost to every person in every region of the world via a smartphone or laptop computer.
Despite the leading edge nature of our industry, it is relatively rare that a totally new development appears, however today, FinanceFeeds spoke in detail with John Webb, a senior FX innovator based in Melbourne, Australia, who has been in this industry since 1962, when he was a financial writer at Sun News, Australia’s largest circulation daily newspaper, following his graduation from Canterbury College, in the United Kingdom in 1959.
Mr Webb went on in 1971 to establish Australian Government sanctioned Interbank and interdealer wholesale money broker MMD Butler, which also operated under the moniker Harlow Butler, with offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia, and Wellington New Zealand. He worked as CEO of the company until 1983, before selling it, the company now being part of the ICAP Group.
Since then, Mr Webb’s eye for innovation has been clearly focused on the advancement of technology in the FX sector, and how to navigage and solve specific matters of importance via new systems.
Since 1971, Mr Webb has held non-executive directorship positions at HSBC Australia Limited, First Leasing and Finance Ltd which is a wholly owned subsidiary of The First National Bank of Boston in North America, Australian Ratings P/L [now Standard and Poor’s], National Mortgage Market Corporation Ltd, Bendigo Bank Agency, Money Market Dealers Pty Ltd [aka Harlow Butler Aust. and NZ].
He has acted as a financial consultant for two ‘Treasurers’ of State of Victoria, and served on Australian Federal, and Victorian State Government committees on financial markets structures as well as being a former Member of the Victorian Government Aviation Initiatives Task Force, and was a member of Lloyd’s of London as an Insurance Underwriting ‘Name’ from 1987 to 2011.
Pedigree, in this case, is all.
So what is Mr Webb’s new innovation and how will brokers diversify to a vast corporate audience by using it?
Speaking to FinanceFeeds yesterday from Manilla, Phillippines, where Mr Webb arrived for a business trip just shortly before the country went into effective Martial Law lockdown, having traveled from Singapore, Mr Webb was in good spirits and enthusiastic about his new development.
“I have been coming here very regularly during the past months, working on my new product, www.CannyFx.com and it has been interesting indeed” said Mr Webb.
“Since you and I sat in Central Station in Sydney many moons ago, I have been building and rebuilding the ‘Fx Risk ‘Measuring’ Calculator, and the site” he explained.
“I would appreciate your very valued opinion of the result of my labors, and candid and constructive comments would be greatly appreciated” Mr Webb continued as he invited me to give my own synopsis of the new system.
“I have 17 optional Functional/Base currencies in the system, and these may be added to on demand, the basis of the ideology behind it harking back to when I began developing the system after I had sold MMD-Butler” explained Mr Webb.
“As an English migrant to Australia many years ago, this program started after I had built the Sherlock Holmes Pub Restaurant in Collins St, Melbourne, and became Allied Breweries PLC which is a Beer product importer to Australia. Tetley Bitter, Double Diamond, John Bull were only a few of the brands I was bring in from UK at that time” he said.
“It was a great business with containers going into all Australian Capital ports except for one thing! From the time I placed a pro forma invoice in GBP it could be up to four months later when I had to make payments. The GBP/AUD on day one making the order, could be significantly different from the payment date rate” – John Webb, Founder, CannyFX
“I just wanted to know how all my shipments FX exposures were travelling and giving me the info I wanted to make my genuine hedges, so www.CannyFx.com is the result. There is much more to come in Stage 2 where the ‘Measuring’ information will be passed, on the customers instructions via API, to accredited FX Retail brokers to provide genuine hedging transaction ability/option to CannyFx customers/clients” said Mr Webb.
Thus, as aforementioned, this is a very good means for retail FX brokerages to get into the very stable, non-leveraged and highly profitable sector of FX settlements, via their existing retail FX platforms.
A very worthy diversification at a time during which retail brokerages need to diversify their product range and head toward a corporate audience.
FinanceFeeds will be closely following the development of this solution as it could well be a vital linchpin in the retail FX sector globally.