Tom Higgins is the Founder and CEO of Gold-i with experience in financial technology spanning over 25 years. With an in-depth knowledge of the trading technology industry, Tom set up Gold-i in 2008 after spotting a gap in the market to enhance the FX trading process for retail brokers. As the inspiration and driving force behind Gold-i, Tom has played a major role in disrupting the retail FX and Crypto market, giving opportunities to brokers/exchanges across the globe. Now extending the firm’s focus to the institutional market, he uses his market insight to continue to drive innovation.
CEO, Tom Higgins 2021 Review
Has it really been a whole 12 months since I wrote my last annual update? Wow! So much has happened in our business and in my family life. The one constant that I have seen is change. The Pandemic has made us all question everything, in work, home and play-time. If my Dad was alive now, he would be 105; consequently, he saw many good and bad things in his life. I will never forget that he told me that after being a prisoner of war, for 5 years, he was determined never to do work anywhere that was not fun and meaningful and to make sure he put 100% into his family life. He ended up running the Greek and Roman Department at the British Museum for 40 years, enjoyed every minute of it, and brought up 5 children. He is my role model.
We are seeing a mini version of these feelings now, having been prisoners in our own homes as we never expected to be.
When I started Gold-i in 2008, I was determined to create a highly successful firm that treated its employees fairly and allowed them time with their families. Gold-i has a wonderful family feeling about it, and I still get excited about going to work every day, as do all of our staff. The Pandemic has changed many things in the World, but it has not been able to dent our incredible culture and values of getting it done, being part of the team, and having fun.
Looking back on 2021, there are certainly a few areas that stick in my memory for excellent reasons. Let’s start with the work ones, as they are so crucial to our growth.
FX- FX had a good, stable year in 2021, with some solid new liquidity partners launching and joining the Matrix Network. Volatility has been in the doldrums for the last few years, and as volatility is our friend, this has led to lower FX volumes. We had some really wacky volatility over the previous 12 months that was more akin to a bucking bronco than anything else. The volatility has now calmed, and we have returned to a stable yet higher level that has helped us all. May long it continue!
Cryptos – Like any stroppy teenager, they will, and are, growing up. They have had many a tantrum along the way and even ran away for a while. Now they have come back home and are a welcome addition to the family of tradable asset classes. This year, institutional adoption has been massive, giving support when news announcements rock the boat or Elon says something odd. We have deployed more Crypto Switch™ solutions than ever before, and the order book is brimming with more to come. Why did I not buy Bitcoin when it was $1!!
Trade Shows – I don’t know about you, but I really struggled with virtual, online trade shows, and I did not enjoy them one bit. My first real, person-to-person one was in Cyprus in the glorious sun in October, and it was an absolute joy to see the whole industry in one place. The fact that we got more leads and signed more business than any other recent trade show was the icing on the cake! The London show followed in mid-November, and that was nearly as good, but without the sun, sea and sand, it can never beat Cyprus.
Personally, our family has stayed strong through some pretty tough times, but as the year has ended, we have 2 children safely installed at University, one in the 6th form at the senior school and one little one just starting prep school. The proudest moment I have had recently was seeing my teenage daughter taking the lead role in Shakespeare in Love, and absolutely nailing it. A star is born!
Looking ahead to 2022...
I am really looking forward to some more international travel to meet clients and prospects and attending the Dubai iFX Expo, in particular next year.
I think it will take another 12 months until Covid is under control in Europe as it is a stubborn beast, so things will still be complicated.
FX volume will continue to grow steadily, whilst Crypto volumes will dramatically increase as the institutional involvement gets stronger.
My hope for 2022 is to get closer to normality (as it was) with people coming back to the office more and more. I really miss the buzz of a full office and am fed up Zooooooming!
A massive thank you
This year, a lot has changed in our work, homes, and schools, but we have always remembered to be kind and considerate. We have looked after those that needed it, and our loyal clients have stuck with us through thick and thin. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Tom Higgins, CEO, Gold-i