Right now we are at a rare inflection point, navigating game changing structural reforms that will fundamentally re-shape our industry for the longer term. Risks associated with uncertain regulatory environments, increasingly onerous compliance regimes as well ongoing disruption ushered in by relentless technology advances (more specifically block chain/distributed ledger technologies) are a given; in our industry such disruption seems to be always imminent but almost always directionally less clear.
So if this is to be the “Threat”, what of the “Opportunity?”
All too often, through necessity or perceived necessity, we tend to focus on the threat side of the ledger; AKA working in the business not on the business. Simultaneous proficiency on both sides is difficult because activities and short term objectives are often directly contradictory and have the potential to pull companies in different directions; they require different skill sets, experience, contacts, performance management as well as an ability to drive success with different time perspectives.
The old adage that “timing is everything” speaks volumes of the current state of the retail FX/CFD industry globally. Whether it’s the Volcker rule, an SNB, a Brexit, ESMA, Trump (or potentially a Rocket Man), our vertical is and remains particularly vulnerable to external shocks. The fundamental nature of our industry, particularly in a substantially B Book driven model, can also be polarising, problematic. So from an investor perspective, our sector is not for everyone. From conducting literally hundreds of prospective investor presentations, we know this first hand.
At JPL we embrace uncertainty as it inevitably leads directly to Opportunity. Whether the objective is a tactical cap/debt raise, partial sell down to diversify/augment cap table/resource base, partial sell down to de-risk/take some cash off the table or an acquisition/industry consolidation, success or otherwise will be substantially determined by a combination of timing, efficacy and precision of engagement with investor community, quality of outputs (investor presentations, teasers, financial modelling, Information Memorandums, etc.), themselves, always, always driven by quality of underlying inputs.