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Primed To Become a Fintech Hub

Hong Kong: The ideal location for LMAX’s strategic global expansion

LMAX Hong Kong is a Securities Futures Commission (SFC)-regulated broker for foreign exchange(FX) and a part of LMAX Ltd. It offers professional investors the ability to trade on firm limit-order liquidity. Clients benefit from a level playing field regardless of status, size or activity levels — and with complete pre- and post-trade transparency, no “last look” rejections and exchange-quality execution.

Vikash Thanki, Head of Hong Kong Operations for LMAX HK, calls Hong Kong the obvious choice for the firm’s head office in Asia.

Primed To Become a Fintech Hub

“The city is one of the largest global financial centres,” he said. “The World Bank has recently rated Hong Kong the third easiest place to do business out of 189 economies. It has a long-standing tradition as a financial centre, to go with a transparent regulatory framework and easy access to our client base in the Asia Pacific region. The company is fully staffed with nine team members covering client services, information security, market and technical operations, sales and compliance. Most of them are local recruits, thanks to Hong Kong’s deep pool of financial talent.”

“The startup environment here is very good,” Thanki said. “There are plenty of highly educated individuals who are not just focused on major banks or corporates, but ready to look for new challenges within disruptive business models like LMAX Exchange, and to become part of these companies’ success stories. We must continue to encourage these individuals and support their development to enhance innovation in the industry.”

Fintech Space

The Hong Kong SAR government has recently set up a Steering Group on Financial Technologies, or fintech. Thanki sees fintech as still relatively new, and believes Hong Kong has great potential to become a regional fintech hub. “Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Professor K C Chan’s recent visit to London to understand fintech further galvanises Hong Kong’s commitment to providing a conducive environment to facilitate fintech development,” he said.

“The ecosystem here has already got a lot of major players, a pro-entrepreneur environment with a focus on collaboration, access to incubators and accelerators, and a transparent regulatory environment — all these advantages put Hong Kong at the forefront as an Asia-Pacific hub for fintech,” he added.

Hong Kong also benefits from its symbiotic relationship with Mainland China. “The Hong Kong Shanghai Connect, and soon the Hong Kong Shenzhen Connect, are all steps toward opening up the Mainland market and internationalisation of the RMB. As the market becomes more open, we are positioned to start attracting business from the region,” he added.

Thanki has been in Hong Kong for only eight months and finds the city fantastic. He said he had expected a culture shock but was pleasantly surprised at how easy it’s been to integrate into society. He’s also developed a new-found love for hiking and fitness. “People are friendly,” he said. “They are busy but still have time for genuine conversation. Hong Kong is not just a great place for business, but for a social life as well.”

Thanki appreciates the help from InvestHK in helping LMAX Hong Kong establish its presence here. “The networking opportunities, and the doors being opened, are a massive assistance for us,” he enthused.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Further Reading (Please click here to download Acrobat Reader)

Fast Facts

  • Incorporated in Hong Kong in 2014 and licensed by SFC in 2015
  • A SFC-licensed broker for foreign exchange

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