Spread Betting, CFD Trading and Running a Business: A Profile of Martin Belsham

By City Index, PRNE
Thursday, August 12, 2010

LONDON, August 13, 2010 - The spread betting and CFD trading industry has long proved a natural
habitat for people who know their own minds. As an individual who states "I'm
not a bookmaker; I'm just a man who runs a business," Martin Belsham is
undoubtedly one of them. He is also chief executive of City Index
(www.cityindex.co.uk), the figure responsible for keeping the company
amongst the spread betting and CFD trading market leaders.

'Responsible' being the operative word. In the aftermath of the downturn,
Belsham is committed to seeing that the company behaves sensibly - both for
itself and for its spread betting and CFD trading clients. "It's not just
about protecting us from bad debts but we also have a responsibility to
customers so they don't put themselves in the position where they owe us

For this reason, he evolves his company constantly. Having launched the
first spread betting and CFD trading application for the iPhone
(www.cityindex.co.uk/) at the end of last year - turning mobile
transactions into 10% of the company's business in the process - he is
already looking for other ways to grow its audience of spread bettors and CFD

"There's always that infectious enthusiasm with Martin," says Nigel Rose,
the spread betting and CFD trading company's finance director. "Change is a
constant. You solve one problem, you move to the next."

That single-minded desire is as evident in his personal life as it is in
his spread betting and CFD trading (www.cityindex.co.uk) life. A
shaven-headed, Tory foxhunter (he rides with the Vale of White Horse hunt:
"Personally I'd be really happy to see foxhunting legalised again and we are
optimistic"), as a boy he chose to attend Watford Boys Grammar over private

Belsham prepared for his role in spread betting and CFD trading from an
early age by watching his father run a small advertising company, and
university saw him catch the gambling bug - although his first foray was into
backgammon and the stock market rather than spread betting (
www.cityindex.co.uk/) and CFD trading.

He first met and befriended future City Index owner Michael Spencer
whilst both worked at Charles Fulton, years ahead of their success in spread
betting and CFD trading. He then joined Credit Agricole and went through what
he terms his "first mid-life crisis." His wife had given birth to premature
twins; one had died and the other was fighting for life. Meanwhile, Credit
Agricole was looking to purchase rival bank Banque Indosuez. "And I was
thinking, you know what? Relatively speaking, it's not [important]. It was a
watershed for me."

In 1999, he left City Index and returned back in 2009 to head up the
entire spread betting and CFD trading operation where he has remained ever
since, building an audience of spread bettors and CFD traders that today
numbers in the hundreds of thousands. On the subject of staying amongst - and
even surpassing - their spread betting and CFD trading rivals, Belsham's
attitude is predictably robust. "It's dangerous to play someone else's game.
I'd rather play my own."

For more on City Index, spread betting and CFD trading, visit

Paul Cassidy paul.cassidy at cityindex.co.uk +44(0)20-8831-7593

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