Five Questions, Five Answers.
What were the reasons for you wanting to join LBMA and what do you see as the key benefits of Membership?
DRW is a diversified trading firm with trading strategies that span a wide variety of asset classes. As such, we always seek to identify opportunities where we can apply our experience and capabilities to contribute to efficient and fair markets. We respect LBMA’s approach to strengthening the markets through clear global standards, and we are excited to work with and learn from other members. We also hope to provide our insights and contribute in areas where our background will help advance LBMA’s efforts.
What’s the background and history of the company?
DRW was founded by Don Wilson in 1992 and now has more than 1,300 employees in 10 offices globally. We seek to participate in a diverse set of markets, with the firm having a presence in real estate, venture capital and crypto assets. By utilising our own capital and trading at our own risk, our combination of trading, technology and talent has helped create unique solutions to complex problems in markets around the world. DRW trades fixed income, ETFs, equities, FX, commodities and energy, and we are continuously looking for new strategies where our experience is a good fit.
We respect LBMA’s approach to strengthening the markets through clear global standards, and we are excited to work with and learn from other members.
Tell us about your company’s role in the precious metals market?
In 2020, DRW became a full member of LBMA. Since then, we’ve continued to grow our access to and activity on global precious metals exchanges, as well as establishing OTC trading relationships. DRW trades a wide variety of precious metals products, including physical, derivatives and tokenised gold trading.
How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed your business and what lasting impacts do you think it will have on the market?
Due to the unexpected nature of the global pandemic, we were forced to think about our businesses, operations and technologies in new ways.
The urgency of the situation was also a direct reminder of just how interrelated so many of our systems are. This has demonstrated the need for our businesses and our people to be flexible, and has required us to challenge the consensus of how we’ve always done things.
The supply chain challenges had massive ripple effects. Serious challenges were presented to virtually all physically settled markets, including precious metals, where we witnessed various dislocations in prices. Challenges like these are hopefully not ones we will face again, but they have provided us with the experience and resources needed to confidently pivot in times of uncertainty.
What are your future plans for the business?
We are always looking for new opportunities where our experiences and insights can make us a valuable participant in the market. We are excited by the shifts we’re seeing in the market from a high level of centralisation to the involvement of new market participants and new technologies. These shifts will present new opportunities and challenges for the market to work together to address. For example, we view precious metals-backed tokens as an area that brings together our experience in precious metals trading and our digital asset business.
We believe there is further growth potential in the physically-backed digital asset space and we seek to continue to contribute to this area.
We are excited by the shifts we’re seeing in the market from a high level of centralisation to the involvement of new market participants and new technologies.