LFP207 – Intrapreneurship & How Fintech is Revolutionising Retail Financial Markets w/Nicky Maan CEO Spectrum Markets

The Fintech wave spreads ever wider – and in the case of retail financial markets as Nicky puts it if you can buy a book at midnight why can’t you buy a share? It’s a good example of how the digital paradigm has changed customer expectations and oldskool ideas about limited “market hours” – there of course for the convenience of the suppliers not the customer – carry little weight.

Equally becoming a marketplace is no trivial task, which is why we have seen so few Fintechs attempt it. Spectrum Markets is a wholly owned yet separate subsidiary of the IG Group and so this episode offers us an opportunity to discuss a dual topic – not just retail markets but how incumbents should structure being able to host revolution as well as evolution.

So in this show Nicky guides us through several years of attempting both to revolutionise financial markets whilst attempting to do this with both the strengths and the challenges of a major incumbent.

Topics discussed include:

  • biscuits and sugar…
  • managing sugar addiction
  • flying on airplanes and a recommendation for Top Gun II
  • Nicky’s career journey and how a corporate lawyer ended up founding a business – not the usual career path
  • Spectrum’s status as a stand-alone business within IG
  • Lexus and Toyota and the invention of telephone banking in the Midland Bank as case studies of successful intrapreneurship
  • the need to be relatively fresh in the organisation to be an intrepreneur
  • the yin-yang challenge of keeping distance whilst keeping onside – innovating yet being consistent with a major brand
  • Mastercard as another Case Study and how that operated
  • George Lucas and what became Industrial Light and Magic and the challenges of managing the balance
  • “constant tension”
  • “you need faith and trust from key people in the organisation who have seen it happen before”
  • competing for resources and cf having external investors
  • “markets follow people”
  • people’s changing expectations not just of technology but of how they manage their own money
  • examples of expectations/usage re branch banking vs online banking
  • “allowing people to do what they want when they want”
  • the nature of markets as place, marketplaces, “venues” for buying and selling – hence the need to create a forum for such
  • what a market is re rules and an attractive place for brokers to increase their business and then the time taken to persuade/seduce market participants into the club
  • liquidity as an example with a baker – you can buy 6 loaves but perhaps not 600 – equally a baker will have shelves with stock on them so it is not a market as such as markets are not stores of product but venues for the exchange of product
  • comparison with nightclubs – marketplaces create the club but don’t dance, don’t drink in the club
  • on-market vs off-market trades
  • how do brokers provide liquidity 24×7? Technology? People?
  • how new versus established brokers approach this automation versus more people challenge
  • if you want a reliable service you need 24×7 people as the tech will always be at risk of failing/bugs
  • “you need people when technology goes wrong”
  • you can’t eliminate mistakes with technology, you can just reduce them”
  • the problems of the LME who not just suspended trading but voided contracts
  • LME seeing the “market” not as we have discussed but prioritising (allegedly) the health of the market participants
  • trust as absolutely key – even deeper than contracts and courts
  • why lawyers understand the limitations of rule-based systems more than tech people
  • how Nicky sees the future of technology and retail FS markets
  • how Nicky sees the interaction between business, FS and technology
  • which markets Spectrum – a pan-European Stock Exchange – serves and which client groups
  • what can be traded on the exchange and the future of the product-set
  • £1.35 billion turnover last year and on track to increase that this year by 200%

And much much more 🙂

Share and enjoy!