State your name, company name and position please:
Ran Strauss, Co-CEO Leverate
Doron Cohen, Co-CEO Leverate
Describe your company with three words:
Innovation above all
Please go into detail about the Company, its market segment and recent developments:
Leverate is the vanguard of broker solutions technology and services empowering Forex brokers and financial institutions with the tools to increase conversions, minimize risk and reach new markets. We provide comprehensive technological solutions for both established and start-up Forex brokers.
Our team is comprised of approximately 50% R&D related personnel, with the remainder of the company consisting of an optimal combination of market professionals, dealing and support staff, all collectively focused on delivering the best premium services and solutions.
In 2011 Leverate Group established Leverate Financial Services Ltd in order to provide regulated STP execution and liquidity services. Leverate Financial Services Ltd is MiFID compliant and licensed by CySEC (licnese 160/11).
How did you arrive at your current position, and what expertise do you offer the Forex Industry:
In the beginning before we founded the company, we began as four friends working on systems to exploit arbitrage opportunities. Following the success of our working “money machine” we came to the realization that this type of business model is not sustainable and leveraged our technological expertise and intimacy with financial systems to provide technological solutions and safeguards for Forex brokers against arbitragers and scalpers. We have since developed an award-winning suite of products for Forex brokerages, provide brokers with top-tier liquidity via Leverate Financial Services and we strive daily to push the Forex technology envelope even further. From our small group of four friends, we have quickly burgeoned to a global company with more than 155 employees across five offices worldwide and growing.
Please elaborate on your industry experience, and what you have achieved since being appointed CEO.
From four founders we have expanded into a company of 155 employees (and growing) with five locations worldwide. We have been profitable in every year since our founding, and our revenue has expanded by 70% yearly. From our initial Feed product, LXFeed, we have expanded into an entire suite of solutions for Forex brokers. We have also introduced Sirix, which has become the new standard in Forex and social trading.
Why should current graduates or people looking for a job in Forex consider working for your company?
We are the ultimate combination of finance and technology. Leverate is a company that cares about its employees and boasts an enjoyable work environment with fun and interesting people that are experts in their fields.
What are your present issues and challenges and what is your plan to steer the company through them successfully?
We aim for Sirix to become the largest social trading community in the world. We continue to develop and grow the community through technological investments and advancements in both software and infrastructure. We are also working hard on our Eastern expansion which is already underway. We have opened offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo in order to target the Eastern markets and our client base is already strong and growing there.
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 ;)?
Firstly, we invest more than 40% of our budget on R&D so that clients that use our systems can compete at the highest level in the industry. We ensure that our products are highly secure and dependable. We always strive to provide the highest level of 24/6 customer service and support—from real professionals, and not an answering service. Our successful audit by Deloitte, that has found us to be ISAE Type 2 compliant, is a testament to our stability and transparency.
Does your company focus on the domestic market or does it have a global presence?
Leverate is a global company with five global offices and clients in more than 60 countries worldwide.
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 will continue the trend for the past 1.5 years of a shift in our client base from start-up broker clients to well established brokers. Even today, most of our new clients are existing operations and we are closing with various large brokers worldwide. You’ll hear about our great new products that we are developing in the 2014 interview.
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Is branding important, and what is your corporate view on it?
Branding is key for us. It is an integral part of our strategy that all products and messages have a solid look and feel with coherent language.
What is your predictions for the coming years of the Forex industry as a whole?
We think that the industry is going to enter into a period of better synergy and maturation of technology. We also think that there will be a marketplace where trading communities can thrive together.
What innovations could the industry as a whole benefit from?
The industry could benefit from more transparency and supply better tools for traders. We think that there is a place to allow extension of platforms which is what we are working on in the Sirix store. We already have cooperative agreements with developers and in a few months traders with be able to download applications in the Sirix store just like in the Apple Store or Google Play.
Do you think that the forex industry is transparent enough and that most companies including yours pay enough attention to due diligence?
There is not enough transparency in the industry. Trading in not transparent enough today. This is why we developed Sirix in a transparent way complete with social trading, where every trader can see accurate and transparent info about potential masters. All traders on the social trading network can see accurate and detailed information about the P/L of other traders and masters. In order to be more transparent, we were audited by Deloitte and found to be ISAE Type II compliant. Our feed, LXFeed is also independent, which essentially allows brokers to give traders access to independent trading data.
Do you read Forex Magnates Quarterly report?
Of course! We have been subscribers for years.
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?
We see it as the future of trading. The level of independence should be the factor behind whether it is considered to be financial advice or not from regulators. If everyone could be a master trader without any interference from the broker’s side and technology, complete with independent and accurate data, and then the license should not be required. On the other hand, other social trading networks that are manually curated by the broker and feature levels of intervention into the efficacy of the networks should be subject to financial licensing.
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.
Doron: I enjoy sailing and I’m a certified skipper.
Ran: I love living life to the fullest.
How does it work to have two CEO’s ?
Mostly in encourages better thinking, but occasionally it can also be challenging. We each have our own areas of responsibilities and we work with a high level of communication.
What does it add to the organization and why have you chosen to work like this?
Working together fosters discussion on different approaches to problems. From our “garage” days we were a group of just four, and so it was a natural progression for us to assume the roles that we presently have when we founded the company.