Wharf's hi-tech philosophy is good business

By Rob Virtue on January 15, 2013 12:58 PM |

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Canary Wharf Group's initiative to bring hi-tech start-ups and big finance together will make the capital competitive in the cut-throat digital revolution, says Jannick Malling, CEO of online trading platform Tradable.

The tech wizard is no stranger to these parts having worked at Saxo Bank in Canary Wharf until 2008.

The estate's owner has dedicated a floor in One Canada Square for supporting tech start-ups and has also hinted at them having a key role in Wood Wharf once it's built.

Jannick said: "If you asked a decade ago if New York could compete with Silicon Valley you would have said 'no'. But that's changing.

"Technology moves fast. You see good things coming from Dublin and Singapore. Next it will be Rio. But areas such as New York and London will always be strong.

"It's happening here. The next step is to create accelerator programmes - big companies saying to small companies 'we want to do something, can you help?'"

Building solutions for the multinationals is really what has brought Jannick back to Canary Wharf.

Recently he was here to complete a deal with Citi that allows Tradable's users to deal with the bank as a liquidity partner.

Tradable itself makes money from transactions and by selling apps to build bespoke trading platforms.

The firm, which started up a year and a half ago and began operating online at the back-end of 2012, is used by currency traders through brokers and financial institutions.

"Our company was working on a host of products but I said I wanted to focus on this full-time," he said.

"The retail currency market has grown a lot in the past decade and you're no longer dealing with your typical trader. There are all sorts, from once-a-day traders to hundreds of times a day.

"They all want their systems to look different and have different packages. We put that in place.

"We tried to do it on different platforms but we soon realised in order to do something so different we would have to start it from scratch."

tradable.com