State your name, company name and position please:
Anthony Brocco, Executive Chairman and Founder of Advanced Markets Ltd.
Describe your company with three words:
Innovative Wholesale Solutions
Please go into detail about the Company, its market segment and recent developments:
Advanced Markets serves two market segments.
The first is providing institutional liquidity, technology and credit solutions to brokers and banks globally. Generally, the brokers and banks that use Advanced Markets solutions are looking to provide their trading customers with a customized package of consistent, interbank-like DMA liquidity on a high performance and operationally stable technology infrastructure with a range of credit solutions.
Advanced Markets achieves this level of low latency and operational stability using Fortex technology, which is designed as a single, unitary system.
The second market segment is small to medium fund managers and banks that seek low latency, anonymous DMA trade executions on multibank liquidity and, in the case of the buy side, institutional-grade prime brokerage and other credit services.
How did you arrive at your current position, and what expertise do you offer the Forex Industry:
I founded Advanced Markets as a retail FX broker in 2006. Prior to that I ran a commodity options trading business.
I think the main value I offer the industry is a common entrepreneurial experience with brokers who are trying to innovate in the highly competitive FX business. Basically, when I started Advanced Markets, I was frustrated by the liquidity, credit and technology solutions available. I asked “Why can’t we build a better solution?” and over time that’s what we did in the areas of liquidity, technology and credit.
Please elaborate on your industry experience, and what you have have achieved since being appointed CEO.
As founder, I suppose I was CEO day one. Going back to my previous answer, we’ve built and offer to the market, very powerful liquidity, technology and credit solutions. These are the very products I would have wanted to have as a broker and in our role as a wholesale solutions provider. It’s gratifying to enable our broker partners with tools to improve their businesses.
Why should current graduates or people looking for a job in Forex consider working for your company?
I believe we are an agent of change in the FX markets, enabling transparency and access to institutional quality liquidity for FX brokers and traders large and small. This mission to improve the FX market structure would be attractive to current graduates who interested working in financial services or fintech.
What are your present issues and challenges and what is your plan to steer the company through them successfully?
Over the last two years we’ve made some fundamental changes to the company, restructuring ourselves as a wholesale liquidity, technology and credit solutions provider to the brokerage industry, jettisoning our US retail broker operation and changing our regulator to ASIC to name just a few.
As a result, we’ve fallen off the radar of the very firms we are well equipped to provide solutions to. Our main challenge is to be in the conversation whenever any broker is looking for an MT4 solution, for example, or a liquidity or prime brokerage credit provider. Our offerings in these three categories are every bit as good as, and often better than, competing solutions in my view. So this year and going forward, we need to do everything we can to make sure brokers , banks and anyone else in the margin FX business includes Advanced Markets when they’re looking to upgrade their liquidity, technology or credit solutions.
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As industry is well known to be highly competitive, what means do you use to survive and to excel in such a fast and sometimes harsh environment (except for collaboration with Forex Magnates Directory of course ;)?
We survive and excel because our clients and our investors support the company and provide us with some of the best ideas for innovation and new products. We are constantly working to improve our products and services to enable and support the new services our broker clients innovate on a continuous basis. This level of partnership, and the challenges it entails, is one of the most creative, pleasurable aspects of operating in an industry, which, as you state, can sometimes be harsh.
Does your company focus on the domestic market or does it have a global presence?
Advanced Markets focuses on the global market. We have offices or sales reps in Europe, Asia and North America and are looking at adding in other regions too.
What is your company’s plan for the next two years? Please detail any expansions, technological developments, mergers/acqusitions or proposed entries into new markets.
We’ve touched on important plan elements earlier in the interview with regard to global expansion and the challenge to make sure we’re on the short list of broker’s solution providers. We do have powerful new products on the drawing board, but it’s a bit early to mention them right now. I will say, however, that everything we do will be consistent with our mission to provide innovative, institutional-grade liquidity, technology and credit solutions to the market.
Is branding important, and what is your corporate view on it?
Branding is very important. We subscribe to the school of branding often attributed to Sir Richard Branson, which, to paraphrase, is “your products are your brand.” We believe that offering the best possible liquidity solutions, technology that actually works as promised from day one until the day it’s retired and comprehensive prime brokerage and other credit solutions is the best way build the Advanced Markets brand.
What is your predictions for the coming years of the Forex industry as a whole?
We’ve always served the industry segment that is interested in bringing transparency and more of a professional, level playing field to its clientele. It seems more and more the winds we encounter are changing direction from headwinds to tailwinds. This might be because the industry is maturing. Also, new customer growth is slowing in many areas, so brokers are motivated to keep their customers trading and more profitable rather than replacing them with new customers on a fast, constant basis.
What innovations could the industry as a whole benefit from?
Not surprisingly, the innovations are the ones I outlined in the previous answer, that is evolving to a more sustainable model that supports the long-term development of traders, who are willing to learn the craft and develop disciplined approaches to trading.
Do you think that the forex industry is transparent enough and that most companies including yours pay enough attention to due diligence?
I do not think the industry as a whole is transparent. However, it is inexorably moving towards a greater level of transparency to meet customer preferences, regulatory mandates and the more sustainable, long-term model we discussed above.
What’s your view on the Forex/social network phenomenon? A good way to further the business with much lower costs, or a potential regulatory hazard should it be deemed financial advice by regulators?
I think it’s an interesting use of the evolving online information framework. Like any information on the Web or anywhere, the trick is to separate the good stuff from the bad. I don’t see any need for regulation of the type you describe, unless the providers are making false claims about profitability, who they are or other fraudulent representations.
Are you using social media channels to create greater exposure and increase trader lifespan?
We don’t offer our services to retail clients directly, so no we don’t. Having said that, we work with our broker clients to provide the tight, fair pricing to increase customer lifespan as long as possible.
To allow us to get to know you a bit better, let us know something that interests you, and what you enjoy doing in your spare time.
I suppose anyone who knows me even a little knows I am a bit of a golfer. Our Charlotte, North Carolina office overlooks a beautiful golf course. I say that as an inducement to any broker reading this interview. Please come for a visit. We’ll be happy to get you out on the course and get you some fantastic barbeque too.