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Saxo Bank uses AI to deliver insights to traders and consumers
Going beyond its roots in trading, Saxo Bank is launching a new investment platform that promises consumers better returns at a lower cost

January 24, 2019 | Richard Hartung
  • Saxo Bank started by developing platforms for traders and individual investors
  • Its next big move will be an investor platform that offers a better experience at a low cost and enables consumers to invest in themes as well as stocks and other products 
  • Acting in the client’s best interest and delivering products customers actually need are the foundations of ensuring trust in financial institutions

When Saxo Bank started out 26 years ago with $70,000 in capital and one employee, it was competing on product, price and service for traders, wholesale clients and investors. The business was to be a facilitator, Saxo Bank CEO Kim Fournais explained, and the mindset was to be close to clients. That was a challenge, however, as “banks were not client-oriented and had huge spreads, so we couldn’t get a decent price.”

            Saxo quickly developed a new model to out-compete the banks. After starting out as a phone-based foreign exchange (FX) and futures service in the 1980s, it employed a programmer in the 1990s to take full advantage of the internet. “We rethought how we can we fully utilise that,” Fournais said. “In April 1998, we launched the first platform for FX. We added asset classes, products, tried to digitise more and more. What we are about (today) is a technology stack and a global set of business processes.”

            While investors and traders have different mindsets and need different tools, the same systems behind the scene power solutions for both types of clients. “We have open APIs that empower the platforms,” Fournais explained. “Hedge funds and family offices want Saxo Trade. My mother wants a simple platform. It’s the same thing behind the scenes.” 

            The service today, then, is a multi-asset platform for products including equities, FX, commodities, derivatives, futures and options. “We still have a digitisation agen...

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Keywords: Financial Exchange, Technology