The following is an interview we held with Andrew Ralich, CEO and co-founder of oneZero Financial Systems, with the company’s perspective on the current market in response to the coronavirus pandemic based on our data insights.
Andrew, how has oneZero been managing through this challenging period of global uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic?
ANDREW RALICH: This is a very defining period of change, the likes of which no one in our organization has experienced. We are thankful that as of now, our employees appear to be safe, while our business continuity plans seamlessly switched into a virtual mode, since we were ahead of the curve in adopting remote work plans.
Our steps during 2019 to become certified to the standards of ISO 27001 for information security management systems well prepared us to handle this type of scenario. When we realized the potential risk of this virus we were proactive in taking action across our global offices as the situation evolved. Particularly in regions such as Asia and Singapore where we have a strong presence, we took steps to put in place additional safeguards to monitor our infrastructure and minimize any potential impact on clients.
What steps has your company been taking to address the myriad concerns of clients, employees and partners around safety, platform stability and risk mitigation?
ANDREW: Our client support team has a presence in worldwide offices to provide 24 hours a day, outstanding support. As a primary step, we tested and verified that each of our operations engineers had full remote access capabilities to their local offices and all production systems. We don’t currently have access to our Data Centers as we usually would, which highlights the challenges of the current environment. However we are confident with our remote accessibility and availability (under quarantine given the inaccessibility of on-site monitoring). We believe our business preparedness actions are and will enable us to manage well and continue to deliver high customer service and support in the coming months, as we don’t know how long this working situation will continue.
Our global team is in constant communication and regular connection through our Slack channels as a matter of course. For oneZero, Slack has always been a medium for customer interaction, which has meant that there has been no change or culture shift during this period. This is part and parcel of our corporate culture that has embraced technology, given our background in the video gaming industry, so even now we are doing virtual happy hours and light-hearted competitions because our team enjoys working together. We are quite fortunate that our transition to remote occurred fairly smoothly.
Feedback from our clients is that they appreciate the responsiveness, communication and support we are providing during this period. For those who rely upon us to host their servers and support their platform, we have been delivering seamless service. The size and breadth of our organization’s team and distribution, particularly as we continue to grow and invest in our technology, has been an important factor in enabling us to make the financial commitment to maintain our commitment to quality and client service.
Since oneZero represents significant retail brokerage trading flow, perhaps you have some insight into how the global markets have been responding to the coronavirus. Are there any observations or insights you might be able to share?
ANDREW: oneZero compiles and maintains anonymized time series market data across our client base to provide an industry benchmark for anyone interested in the retail brokerage market. Through our Data Source product, we deliver these data insights directly to clients and have also been compiling a retail brokerage industry benchmark for performance measurement and perspective. While there has been increased global trading volume over the past 3 months, not surprisingly, our clients and systems have been performing as usual. We are well-equipped to manage potential volume spikes as a matter of course. We currently give our clients access to multiple asset classes to trade, so it will be interesting to see the extent to which retail investors anticipate and react to market changes through their trading actions. For instance, it’s possible this might drive an increase in crypto-currency trading as an alternative currency source.
Would you share what else oneZero has observed from its Data Analytics?
ANDREW: Since oneZero has rolled out Data Source, we’ve noticed that our clients who are leveraging the data have been well-positioned to manage their trading book and capital position more effectively because they are on top of market changes.This is part of oneZero’s total value proposition which comprises three components – Liquidity Hub, EcoSystem and Data Source. Each individual component is designed to solve specific organizational challenges, however together they provide a complete solution for technology, distribution and analytics.
We believe having a complete toolkit for liquidity management and customization, distribution and analysis will be the name of the game in the future – having access to powerful information that is driving your business in real-time, so you can make adjustments to your algorithms and allocations, in addition to analyzing and modifying your risk and hedging positions.
Each oneZero client has access to data that enables them to own and manage their own operations with greater insight and the same level of granularity that the largest, most sophisticated institutions use. In addition, they can compare their performance relative to oneZero’s entire EcoSystem to better benchmark and enhance their expertise. We believe this leveling of the playing field will give all our clients the tools they need to manage their business and navigate changes and challenges, particularly in the current environment, better than ever.
It is worth noting that although oneZero technology has held up fantastically through this increase in volatility, not all technology providers have seen the same. By analyzing latency and performance data across our client base, we are able to identify bottlenecks and work with clients to provide the best solution for accessing liquidity.