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Asked to picture a City trader, and many would conjure up images of brash, hard-working-hard-playing characters bedecked in loud jackets and equipped with even louder voices. However, we're a far cry from New York circa-Gordon Gekko, and the gentlemen tasked with providing the Middle East's first trading hub for both professional and new traders don't appear to be the sort to raise their voices unnecessarily.
It's an attractive prospect too - members will be able to trade across the world's financial markets, enjoying globally competitive rates, a zero tax infrastructure and first class trading arcade facilities. The company boasts a new purpose-built trading room, an open-plan workspace with 35 comfortable trading stations with high-end technical equipment, market information systems, risk management systems and reliable front and back office administrative support.
Such facilities are designed to attract the best of the world's traders - and perhaps those looking for a little sunshine in the winter months? The tax situation is, of course, the most attractive prospect for high-volume traders used to making money across the world's markets. DPTG is looking to entice traders with a strong pipeline of business from fairly high tax environments, including Europe and the US.
In addition, there is the opportunity offered by relatively untapped local markets, and Hume reveals that DPTG is on the verge of signing up its first "very heavy" trader. Yet experienced traders represent only one aspect of DPTG's gameplan, and it is the search for new talent that marks the new venture's greatest challenge. In order to increase the number of traders operating within the business, applicants who have the unique combination of skills, attitude and motivation that DPTG considers the hallmark of successful and profitable trader will be invited onto a unique training course.
We're looking for a variety of traits, some of which you can teach, but the majority of which you've either got, or you haven't got. It's down to instinct and common sense. Hume anticipates that the first training course will begin in mid-February.
It will take place over six months - the accepted minimum amount of time required to develop a trader to be confident in trading successfully - and each course holds no more than 10 applicants, commencing with a one month intensive training programme where no actual trading takes place. But what we're bringing in is a relatively new concept for the region, and that takes time to take hold. We'll be reeling from the numbers coming in, and very much cherry-picking the best.
There is no fee for the course as the sole purpose is to train the individual to become profitable. It's not an online or theoretical training course - it's run by experienced traders who have a track record in making money.
This is a business for people who do have some sort of backing behind them. According to Hume, it is for this reason that DPTG has not yet sought to recruit university graduates.
Not only do high-level academic qualifications matter little with regards to actual trading potential, recent graduates are unlikely to be able to meet the application requirements on financial grounds. From a regulatory point of view we're not allowed to let traders trade third party money - we're not training investment managers, and our traders are not acting as a broker or giving investment advice.
The course's initial focus is on lower risk spread trading, so that trainees get to a point where they are able to place basic trades. This is coupled with core training in trading fundamentals, technical analysis, risk and money management and market psychology.
Core training is followed by a five month mentoring programme with gradually increased trading activity. The courses will be taught in English, although DPTG has ensured that the international markets will be able to be viewed in Arabic if required. We are prepared to put considerable effort into grooming them, actually at a considerable cost to ourselves.
But if you can do it, then it's a great lifestyle. You get to choose when you work, what days, and a lot of people make a lot of money doing it. Moreover, he insists that market conditions in the region make an ideal time to move into trading. Market volatility and the corrections of the last two years mean that seasoned traders are reluctant to chance their arm on exchanges such as the Dubai Financial Market or Dubai International Financial Exchange.
What DPTG offers is "a mile away from that", he claims. The more volatile the market is the better - in fact we couldn't ask for more perfect market conditions to trade in. Since he first arrived in Dubai six years ago, the emirate has taken great strides in establishing itself as a leading financial centre in the region. So Dubai has pulled it together pretty swiftly from that point of view. DPTG is certainly optimistic that the venture will prove a success. Indeed, future plans include the introduction in late of a second trading room, providing for additional trading stations.
There is also the potential for expansion throughout the region, and into the subcontinent. What we don't want to do is just become an academic organisation. If Hume and Floyd have their way, then the most academic thing about the venture will be their traders' profits.
There may not be a trading floor in sight, but Gordon Gekko would be proud. He is also involved in other regional initiatives including renewable energy, base and precious metal trading, and trust administration. Hume's career includes 16 years at the Bank of America, where he held a number of International positions including Global Treasurer - The Private Bank. His academic qualifications include ACIB: Benedict Floyd joined Credit Suisse Financial Products, the recognized world's leading bank in derivative trading, at the bank's inception as a fixed income trader and remained with the bank for 12 years, working in both London and Zurich.
In , Floyd joined Bank of America in London as a director of foreign exchange forwards, moving in to proprietary trading, trading derivatives in all asset classes. Settling in Dubai in , he launched Art Dubai, a contemporary art fair, which is now counted as one of the key annual events in Dubai - now partly owned by the Dubai Government. Floyd joined the Dubai Gold and Commodity Exchange in , the region's first derivative exchange, as General Manager of Product and Business Development, interacting with all parties involved in futures trading in the region and abroad.
In this role, he was responsible for promoting the exchange and launching new products, including the world's first ever Indian Rupee future. Tricks of the trade Arabian Business meets the men behind the Middle East's first trading hub for both professional and new traders. Sun 13 Jan Subscribe to our Newsletter. Dubai-based cryptocurrency sued by Chinese giant Alibaba 03 Apr UAE banks performing well despite lower profits - report 21 Mar UAE's largest bank wins licence for Saudi expansion 20 Mar Dubai investment firm Amanat seeks Sharia-compliant status 29 Mar