Tell us a little about your background
June of 2016 marked my 10th year in this amazing sector. With a BSc in Economics and Finance, my career path started back in 2006 within a highly competitive sales department. Loads of information to digest, not much competition market-wise, but due to the fact that the industry was still relatively “new” I still had to deal with general unawareness at the time regarding CFDs and forex trading. After 3 years of direct selling, networking and advancing as an industry participant, I looked for and challenged Executive Roles, where I managed Cyprus Investment Firms from the Director’s position, got deeper into the regulatory frameworks and gained a more complete understanding of the technological innovations that characterize the backend of a brokerage. Today, other than running the day to day operations of allFX-Consult, I also still maintain non-executive director roles on boards of Investment Firms.
Why did you start your business?
Although today allFX-Consult is characterised by the three parts you see on the website, that is the Sales Department setup, the Full Brokerage Solution and the Institutional Program, our core still lies in the brokerage’s business development (sales) strategies, set-up and control.
Before allFX-Consult materialised into a complete brand, we saw a need for correct/educated sales department planning, since many attempts from brokers to find suitable department heads had no positive results. This could be due to the broker not being challenging enough, or not paying enough, or not allowing the person to reach full potential through the brokerage’s decision making. No matter what the reasoning, there was (and still is) a lot of Sales Director position “recycling”, departments left “naked” after the head would abandon ship and any work carried out thus far, rendered obsolete.
In the early days, there was no allFX-Consult brand. All our trainings and services were delivered at the broker’s locations just like we do now, but as independent contractors. With the number of projects growing fast, we saw the potential that a brand with online presence could provide, which evidently formulated what allFX-Consult offers and stands for today.
Sales is a challenging department. Why would a brokerage choose outsourced help rather than an in-house professional?
Put very simply, because we’re the only ones who don’t approach this department solely based on our backgrounds and experience but rather on industry standards and targeted competitive analysis. Our methodology, developed and fine-tuned over the years, assesses how the brokerage came to be and where it’s planning to go, it identifies correct products/services relative to its target audience and the direct competitors, it renders the final product marketable and evidently saleable. In rare cases where the product is not saleable, perhaps the broker is unwilling to adapt or the business plans are not feasible, we will just not take on the project.
Once we on-board our strategies, the training does not only include employees and sales people but also the management on how to continue utilising our work after completion, without the need for us to be present. A sales department doesn’t need months to become operational. Depending on its size, the period can be a lot shorter. The fact that we carry on the work in such an independent manner, is one of the reasons we have lifelong contacts rather than clients and projects.
Another reason is of course the redistribution of business through our Institutional program, with our clients receiving business (as this comes to us) as high priority, a program that keeps everyone happy. So you can see why anyone that engages the services of allFX-Consult is a lot more than a client and partner.
What do you think about the latest CySEC decisions on the Sales and Marketing functions of CIFs?
I agree with them 100%. Through our blog or direct communication with industry participants, we always urged caution towards outsourced call centers, any so called “sales rooms” and anything scripted that takes away the personal, educated and human approach towards a potential investor.
How can a faraway country that doesn’t even know what the word regulation means, take on the role of the “income generator” of a broker, without overstepping boundaries, making false promises, begging and/or any other tactics they see appropriate to succeed in an aggressive industry like the forex industry. No ethical industry participant would be against these decisions unless they are themselves incapable of generating sales without offering investment advice, making fake promises, use aggressive tones and repeatedly harass their prospects.
This is also why we don’t take any/every project that requires our service. For example we refused a few brokers/sales teams that turned their back on education or required scripted answers from us. We also refused every binary project that knocked on our door since the first binary license was granted. Not sure if these made any difference outside our office walls, but at least for us it’s something.
Can you give us an outline of where the strengths of your business are?
The biggest strength of our business is our network. Over the years we managed to form a web of individuals/professionals, brokers and service providers that combine forces to offer an unparalleled service under one umbrella that we called allFX-Consult. The years of experience, the personal approach to every case as well as our principles characterises our way of work and our partners. Redistributing networks, business, projects and funds all across our network’s spectrum and setting up yearly milestones, pinned our service right into the heart of the FX industry in Cyprus and abroad.
Growing with these important milestones, allFX-Consult is now more committed than ever to perform not as an individual agency but as a large network of professionals and institutions that exchange knowledge, ideas, business and wealth.
Where is your business most applicable to; start-up or mature?
Both; any brokerage that comes to us, most definitely went through what we described above, therefore they will require exactly the same approach whether start-up or mature. We will still need to evaluate, create reports, identify strengths/weaknesses, adopt any differentiation strategies possible and most importantly train. Our training is characterised by some as “sociopathic”, reason being the emotionless approach to who is in front of the trainer, whether that is a sales person or a shareholder. When the correct answer needs to be given, everyone’s the same, irrespective if they are the ones writing our cheques. Usually if there is a problem with this approach, or we find ourselves stepping on people’s toes, then the project is doomed to fail, because apparently we’re not there to teach and/or grow with these people, but rather inflate egos and waste time.
What are your plans for 2017?
We’re at a point now that we can setup a brokerage from scratch; from licensing to the formulation and implementation of operational strategies, we do it all. This happens, not only through the people behind allFX-Consult but through this amazing network of professionals, providers and brokers, each with equal if not more experience to ours, combining their expertise to create something beautiful. New technological innovations, new providers, new brokers, new people are joining the industry every day and our goal is to know each and every one of them, work with each one and deliver the best possible service to whoever needs it. And what do you know? Maybe this can be our way of giving back to this terrific industry that gave so much to so many but receives so little in terms of feedback and recognition. We invite everyone to meet with us in person and find out for themselves just how far allFX-Consult can take them.