Exeleon Magazine

Interview with CEO of Capital.com – Ivan Gowan

Capital.com CEO Ivan Gowan Interview

More often than not we align leadership with terms like power, control, and authority. However, the definition and the resulting perception of the world leader has gone through a radical change over the years.

True leaders understand that their success is intimately tied to the work of the collective; of the entire team. One example of such a leader is Ivan Gowan, who makes sure to lead a team that understands and echoes his vision, mission, and strategy. In an exclusive interview with Exeleon Magazine, we find out about the journey and the beliefs of this innovative leader – Ivan Gowan.

1. What makes for an effective leader? How do you integrate the same in your leadership?

It is very important to set out a mission, vision and strategy in clear language that the people you are leading understand. This should be linked to the initiatives you are driving and show progress towards your mission. It is very important to spend time ensuring your team understand their role in helping achieve the company’s goals and the steps they need to take to deliver. It is also very important to take on board feedback from your team and adapt to find effective solutions.

2. What has been your role as a leader since being appointed as the CEO of Capital.com.?

My role has been very varied, from defining strategy and communicating it internally and with external media, work closely with our product team on their roadmap and investments in product, work with our legal and compliance teams to successfully obtain new licenses including our FCA license here in the UK and help drive our international expansion, establish banking and PSP relationships, working with our growth team to create and promote campaign messages, marketing payback and helping the team focus on areas of greatest growth.

3. How is technology changing the Fintech industry?

AI is changing the role of lots of people in different industries. At Capital.com we have built a highly scalable, real time trade analysis platform we call eQ that helps our clients to understand weaknesses in their trading strategies and provide context sensitive personalized education. It is extremely innovative and uses behavioral finance research to identify clients trading biases and help them to become better traders through education – raising awareness of patterns of behavior they may not be aware of. We see that clients who read our eQ messages trade 10% better than those who do not.

4. What has the journey been like for Ivan Gowan as a leader?

I was part of a great team in my previous role and lead the development of IG’s IT systems during a period where we expanded very aggressively internationally and when trading was moving away from traditional desktop applications to browser and mobile phone based.

At Capital.com, we have built award winning platforms on a very modern technology stack that is very cost-effective and scalable. My experience in capital markets providing leading trading services to high value clients has helped make the transition a lot easier, along with being able to leverage my extensive network in the industry.

5. Looking back, what would you have done different when starting out?

I have always focused on interesting work as a primary source of stimulation and growth in my career. I have been very fortunate to work with cutting edge technology and growth minded innovative people throughout my career. My first two roles in technology consulting firms gave me a great early exposure to a range of businesses and the ways that technology could be used to drive growth and new business models. This coupled with highly technical degrees positioned me well for the enormous change that the internet brought about.

6. What has been the biggest driving factor for you as a leader and entrepreneur?

A desire to build great products and services has always driven me. To engage with clients, understand their needs and desires, and deliver products and services they love.

7. What would be your advice for some of the aspiring leaders in the Fintech industry?

Find a niche that is growing and surround yourself with great people. Make sure you are addressing a real client need and move fast. It is extremely important to remain nimble and respond to changes in the market and your clients – whether you are in the B2B or B2C space. There is still so much scope for disruption and blockchain will be a big disruptor throughout the 2020’s.

CEO of Capital.com Ivan Gowan_Exeleon Magazine

8. Capital.com claims to make the finance landscape accessible, engaging, and useful. How does it ensure the same?

We focus on ensuring our services are easy to understand and provide a lot of education. With so much financial data available we put enormous effort into ease of use and accessibility for a wide audience. We believe people are not born as traders, but you can learn to become one. With an award winning platform widely recognized for great design and UX this forms a key part of our strategy.

9. How does Capital.com facilitate leadership and innovation among its employees?

We have a highly skilled team of people focused on UX and design who help digest feedback and pain points from clients and create hypothesis and solutions to find innovative ways to solve their problems. They work closely with our other departments to continue to challenge the status quo and come up with great solutions. This can be challenging in a heavily regulated industry and takes a lot of time and attention to do detail.

10. What has been the biggest roadblock during your journey? What has been your biggest learning?

There have been lots of scale up challenges. Hiring great people is extremely important and difficult to get right all the time. Obtaining our FCA license, banking and PSP relationships was a big challenge that we achieved in October 2018. Delivering a lot of things for the first time in a new and growing company is much harder than it sounds sometimes.

11. How do you plan to take Capital.com forward? On a personal front, where do you see yourself standing in the coming years?

We are pursuing growth and continued investment in Capital.com. The UK market remains our largest market. We will continue to invest in our platform to meet the needs of our clients with a broader product range (we already offer 2500+ markets to trade) and enhanced features.

Having experienced personal loss I live life day to day, appreciative for what I have. I work hard, always learning and try to inspire those around me. Who knows where I will be in 5 years’ time.

12. Finally, what do you think is the most important trait for a leader and why?

In today’s age with rate of change only increasing it is crucial to keep learning and looking for emerging trends and directions. Technology is cannibalizing a lot of industries and jobs. We need to be aware of these changes and help our people adapt and grow with so much change around them. This can be very stressful for people and we need to play a part in helping them become excited about the future.

About the Leader

Ivan Gowan is the CEO of Capital.com, a Fintech company which is on a mission to make the world of finance more accessible, useful, and engaging. Ivan is also the Co-founder and CEO of Currency.com.

The innovative leader began his journey as a software developer and has been always intrigued by the latest technological advancements and innovations. With his strategic understanding and technological expertise, Ivan Gowan has spearheaded Capital.com towards becoming an award-winning platform.

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