Young Entrepreneurs: Christian James Evans, GeckoFX and Sanktuary Investments
Previously working as a futures trader, the 25-year-old now runs trading and investment education courses across a range of Welsh universities
Name: Christian James Evans
Company: GeckoFX and Sanktuary Investments
Graduating from Cardiff Business School with a degree in economics in 2014, Christian James Evans always looked set for a strong career in the financial sector – but even he must be surprised by what he’s achieved in the intervening years.
After all, there can’t be many 25-year-olds running not one, but two successful businesses in such a competitive industry.
Working in asset management before joining a proprietary trading firm as a futures trader, Evans founded his first business, a venture capital firm called Sanktuary Investments, in the summer of 2016 – which manages capital on behalf of professional and high-net worth investors.
With his expertise of the financial markets repeatedly called upon by his friends, Evans says he was fortunate enough to have been taught by a business that invested heavily into his training and development as an employee – so had no idea how the trading education sector worked for non-professionals.
Deciding to attend a number of seminars to find out more, the Welsh entrepreneur was overwhelmed with the low quality, and the misleading marketing messages of trading education providers.
Realising this simply wasn’t a ‘one off’, Evans believed most courses and seminars provided little value, and were often taught by individuals with misaligned incentives and little to no industry experience – so he decided to do something about it.
Launching GeckoFX in July 2017 to tackle the stigma surrounding poorly constructed trading education, the trading and investment education business provides accredited courses to individuals, institutions and universities.
Having developed eight programs that seek to provide a ‘holistic learning approach’, five of GeckoFX’s courses focus on the foundations of trading and investment management, whilst the other three are developmental courses designed to help students pursue a career within the sector.
Available across three mediums – in-person, online or via one-to-one mentoring – the start-up is currently constructing an online learning portal to help accessibility for international students.
Yet to celebrate its first birthday, GeckoFX has already taught over several hundred students and has worked with a number of universities in the South Wales region including Cardiff Business School, Swansea School of Management and Swansea Business School (UWTSD).
With Evans noting that only 7% of UK universities currently offer courses that fall under this category, his mission is to teach 20,000 students worldwide by the end of 2020.
Always looking to better himself and learn more about the financial sector, the Swansea native is also currently studying for an MSc in financial engineering part-time, and is working with the Welsh government to create a qualification that will help young people develop their financial literacy.