As a global provider of financial technology, ViewTrade serves clients in every corner of the world. Our team is comprised of globetrotting industry experts who make it a point to visit clients, familiarizing themselves both with the unique workflows and requirements of each firm and the nuances of the local markets they serve, all to help them firms drive continued innovation. In this series, ViewTrade team members report from the field on their latest travels and key takeaways.
Describe the purpose of your recent trip.
The primary goal of our trip to South Korea was business development. One of our interns is based in Seoul, and several vendors in the city are already working with us – for example, Equinix has a Korea office – so it’s an important market and key destination for us.
What is ViewTrade’s relationship with this region? (current clients, partners, etc)
Seoul is home to a number of ViewTrade partners. We’re also partners with Bloomberg, whose connectivity services are in demand from several of our Korean broker clients due to their great user experience. In addition, I am a regular member of CFA Society Korea. Lastly, on our trip, we had the opportunity to visit the U.S. embassy, where ViewTrade made a commitment to join FinTech Mission Asia, a fintech business development program.
What opportunities does this market present?
This market presents a massive opportunity for ViewTrade, as we offer many advantages over the existing providers in Korea:
- ViewTrade offers real-time dollar trading, whereas local providers do not
- ViewTrade offers options trading with physical delivery, whereas local providers do not
- ViewTrade offers real-time quotes with a back-end backup server, whereas local providers are hampered by infrastructure issues that affect their visibility into the U.S market
- ViewTrade offers flexible pricing, whereas local providers generally charge solely based on basis points or cents per share
Any other interesting anecdotes or takeaways from your trip?
From our conversations with local brokers, we noted that ViewTrade has created some buzz because we’ve been a frequent foreign visitor. While established players often have technology footprints that are more locked-in, small and mid-sized companies have shown a strong willingness to consider working with us.
While product teams in other regions don’t typically work during U.S. trading hours due to differing time zones, in Korea, product team members often take turns operating the night shift in order to support their dealing team. Additionally, some brokers in Korea are now training their product teams to use cutting-edge tools like Python and ChatGPT.
Korea has developed a close connection to the U.S. and Japan, with many Korean citizens willing to live and work in Japan, and vice versa. Additionally, women are still underrepresented in the Korean financial sector, so many are looking for opportunities to break into the industry via professional degrees or certifications such as a CFA charter or ESG certificate.