Anthony Denier has over 20 years of experience in management, compliance, operations, trading, sales, and research of both US and International equity, derivative, and fixed income market products. From the very early stages in his career, Anthony has embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and always looked to disrupt the status quo by looking towards technology as a solution. As CEO of Webull Financial, Anthony oversees all divisions within the broker dealer as well as acting as Webull’s spokesperson to spearhead the firm’s growth both domestically and internationally. Anthony has held the CEO title previously at London based broker LXM’s New York office, LXM USA. His role at LXM also included the role of Chief Compliance Officer, where he supervises the day to day operations of the firm as well as being the point person for all audits, both financial and compliance in scope. As head of European equity sales & trading at JonesTrading, Anthony streamlined and simplified the internal trading processes for overnight and live hours trading in non-US markets. Before joining JonesTrading, Anthony served as a Vice President at Numis Securities, where he built out the live European hours trading desk, sales trading UK equity into US based asset managers. His duties included overseeing all primary and secondary deal flow into US clients, while advising his UK based banking counterparts on which US clients should participate in the 144a or Reg S designated equity offerings. Prior to Numis, Anthony actively managed analyst level employees on the equity trading desk at Credit Suisse from 2004 – 2006. Joining CS in 2000, Anthony successfully completed Credit Suisse’s rigorous analyst training program and thereafter became one of the top recruiters for the firm from the IVY League schools of the northeastern United States. He actively managed the MBA associate recruits and would present to MBA class audiences throughout the United States to further Credit Suisse’s hiring of top talent.
Where did the idea for Webull Financial come from?
We noticed an area of white space in the current U.S. trading market and wondered why a zero commission broker should be the “light version” of trading? We wanted to create an app that was easy-to-use and provided traders with all information needed in one central location.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically start my day very early as we have a NYC office morning call at 7:00 am daily. On these calls, we discuss the daily triage of issues, trading and platform operations and corporate actions to note (stock splits, mergers, etc.) before discussing both firm and customer risk (margin calls and unsecured accounts). Once we complete those topics, we focus on customer concerns and feedback. After breaking for lunch, the afternoon is typically focused on growing our product range and Webull’s offerings. My evenings are typically spent strategizing on improving customer experience, user interface and customer acquisition. This all occurs while simultaneously spending time with my wife and three children – especially when they are home all day participating in Zoom school!
How do you bring ideas to life?
Taking our customer’s feedback and putting it into action. Our users are responsible for some of the best improvements over the years. First, we take the feedback and create a plan and schedule of benchmarks for the project. We then test the update a few times to ensure that our clients like the updated or new product once rolled out.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Day traders; some are everyday people who would never imagine being actively engaged with capital markets 10 years ago. Now they embrace a new model of financial independence and growth that only the wealthy could previously access.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Staying on top of my email inbox or text messages despite receiving thousands per day. You never know where the next great team member, partner or idea will come from.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Have patience. There is no such thing as an overnight success.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The earth is flat (KIDDING).
The retail brokerage world has much more change ahead. Zero commission is just the tip of the iceberg. Expect to see profit sharing between brokers and traders in the future where brokers will share revenue with the customers that generate them. We are already seeing this with FPSL (fully paid stock lending) and I believe we will soon see this trend with PFOF (payment for order flow).
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Constantly second guess yourself and don’t be afraid to admit you are wrong.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Do not chase the short money and follow your principles. At first, Webull was not profitable and we were offered opportunities to create revenue from short-term fixes that did not align with our founding strategies; taking features away from users, dumbing down the platform, advertising. So many ways, some of which you wouldn’t believe. Thankfully, Webull did none of those things and stuck to our original plan. Because we stayed true to our core values, customers continues to join in droves.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I didn’t transition away from the traditional Wall Street trader role early enough in my career due to lack of confidence in myself to adapt. I ultimately overcame this with a leap of faith in myself and my abilities.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
In these current time, I would love a business that offers some way to get your kids to participate in Zoom school without bribing them with candy.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Standing temperature scanner at our offices that gives entry if an employee’s temperature is below 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes employees feel safer and brings us one step closer to pre-COVID-19 productivity.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Webull Back-Office. We have built our own in-house customer service center and back-office customer information management system that allows our representatives to more easily navigate customer questions and concerns, especially remotely.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson.
While this book was written in the early 2000s to explain Napster and the downfall of music stores, it’s now becoming more relevant in financial services and will eventually make its way to all facets of our economy.
What is your favorite quote?
Without risk, there is rarely reward – Paul Allen. It’s been posted in our offices since day one.
- When times get tough, the tough get going.
- The first few years starting Webull were extremely difficult to launch the app into success, but by following my gut instinct and never selling out to a quick profit fix, Webull was positioned for long-term success and growth, more so than any of us could have imagined at that time.
- This was also by no means a one-man show; growing a team of smart, savvy individuals who care about the product is key to growing your business.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.