Finance Magnates spoke with Anton Ivanov, the Marketing Manager at RoboForex, about the current state of the forex market versus how it was a few years ago, the future goals of the company, and the upcoming challenges of MiFID II.
How do you view the current state of the industry?
The currency market remains one of the most dynamic sectors of the global capital market. Both beginners and experienced traders consider the execution speed and the entire range of account types, trading instruments, payment systems, and client support to be the most important things. At RoboForex, we understand this, and that’s why we move with the times. Last year was probably the most volatile since 2008 and 2009. The events that happened made us more concentrated and focused as possible in everything from programming, client support, to the development of new offers and services.
Over the last few years, the currency trading industry has been aggressively expanding, and the competition has become close. The number of brokers is increasing, and the number of active clients is expanding as well, but not as quickly.
On a global scale, the currency market is moving closer and closer to regulation and control. It’s important for clients to be sure that their funds are secure and this quite reasonable requirement makes the market change. Central banks of the world’s major economies arrive at the decision to toughen their requirements for brokers, such as the requirements for levels of the leverage offered by brokerage companies. Marketing strategies are also under the regulators’ spotlight. Not all participants of the currency market are able to comply with these terms, that’s why the number of non-regulated brokers is still pretty big. They attract clients by promising exceptional services, but in most cases this experience doesn’t do investors any good.
It appears that tightened regulation and control are things of the future. Sooner or later, tough requirements for the market participants will clear the market out of dishonest companies and, eventually, this will be in the favor of the clients.
What are your key target markets? What products you are marketing in these places?
If we’re talking about territories, our target market is Europe. Here, we can see that people are highly interested in our products and services. There are hardly any problems when we work with the documents provided by our European clients. all information necessary to comply with the regulator’s requirements and the anti-money laundering (AML) policy is presented on request.
The European market is demanding a trading platform with certain capabilities. Umstel, a stock trading platform, is popular there. We’re active in developing RoboForex Stocks, our project that combines CFD trading with access to different stock market assets. It’s quite a wide field for traders as the project offers a great deal of financial instruments (about 8,400), from CFDs on stocks and indices to ETFs. The system implies free access to real-time market quotes, while trading operations are performed through Umstel, a brand new advanced multi-class platform.
The platform applies modern advanced technologies
At the same time, another project which is developing quickly is StrategyQuant, an auto trading platform, which allows to create and back-test trading robots. The platform applies modern advanced technologies, such as trading systems assessment by Monte Carlo methods, genetic algorithms, walk forward optimization, and others. Traders don’t have to have any programming skills in order to use the system, and that is the system’s main advantage. RoboForex, as a company that focuses on algorithmic strategies, considers this project to be of particular importance.
Besides, strong interest is sparked by the copy trading service. Among popular traders, who provide their trading strategies for copying in MQL5, you can find our successful clients.
What would you say differentiates RoboForex and the hundreds of other brokers operating in the same territories?
RoboForex is as modern and dynamic as the world around it. We’re constantly changing, it’s always been and always will be this way, because the most sophisticated and demanding clients, who are in pursuit of profit, care a lot about the company’s reputation, status, and potential.
Client-orientedness is our priority. We’re keeping in mind our clients’ wishes and preferences and trying to answer and solve their questions as soon as possible.
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Another priority of ours is technological improvement. RoboForex is following the path of automation of all processes carried out by clients, from registration to funds deposit/withdrawal. Our clients must have maximum opportunities for trading. We’re improving the web terminal, providing support of MetaTrader 5 platform with hedge accounts, offering to trade via mobile browsers.
For instance, our project StrategyQuant is the best platform breed, which is compatible with MetaTrader 4 terminal. The cost of use of the platform is the lowest in the industry, which is an undeniable advantage for our clients.
Our reputation requires us to follow all instructions of regulators and supervisory bodies, and we meet these requirements. RoboForex is participating in different independent organizations, which resolve disputes between the company and its clients, and steadily developing by opening representative offices in European countries.
How are you adapting your activities in response to the recent dramatic regulatory changes in Europe?
We realize that we have to do our best in order to protect our clients from any possible risks. In cases when some particular events are expected, it’s not difficult to warn clients, and RoboForex makes an announcement, which explains the importance of the event and possible reactions of the market related to it. However, we can’t predict all unexpected escalations of social or geopolitical background. Before the presidential elections in France, our clients were warned about possible sharp increases in volatility and reductions in liquidity. The same was before the referendum in Italy in December 2016. Yet, there might be cases beyond reasonable control, that can be predicted by nobody, for instance, the acts of terrorism in the United Kingdom this spring.
When it came to the protection of our clients from market volatility, the company decided to decrease the maximum admissible leverage and close some of the bonus programs. Moreover, RoboForex completely reconsidered its way to test traders’ knowledge and skills in order to provide each of them with the most suitable products and services.
In your opinion, how will the systemic changes in the industry develop in the short to medium term?
The role of local regulators in the currency market will become more and more important. It’s necessary to protect retails clients of regulated companies from dishonest participants of the market. Sooner or later, requirement toughening will push cheaters and frauds out of the market, and their places will be taken by the companies with transparent cooperation schemes and conditions.
In what ways can a medium-sized broker compete with the major industry players in the brokerage sector? What methods do you use in this regard?
Competition is always difficult and efficient. An average brokerage company retains its clients and attracts new ones using an individual approach to each of them. It is important on all stages, from answering the client’s questions to solving their current issues, and doesn’t end during the registration. RoboForex continues to support its clients by various means, including new representative offices.
RoboForex continues to support its clients by various means, including new representative offices.
An average brokerage company can’t afford to hire a lot of staff, that’s why the strength of such broker is operability and automation of many processes. This approach helps to value the client’s time and solve their problems as quickly as possible and decrease the influence of the human factor.
What are your goals for the company over the next few years?
The main goal of RoboForex is to further the development of all aspects of the company, from expanding the client base of active traders to strengthening the brand in other regions and individual markets. We continue to open new representative offices, plan to focus on topical training workshops, and take part in specialized exhibitions.
Apart from this, the company is changing in order to comply with conditions and requirements of the regulator, which are changing as well. It is necessary for both our clients’ and the company’s safety.
What new fields or opportunities do you see as growth potential in the market?
Development of investment products has a high potential in our strategy. For example, we can see that traders’ interest to RAMM system is growing. Currently, RAMM is the only system on the market, which allows the retention of complete control over acceptable risk levels and doesn’t decrease the profitability level of your investments at the same time.
Additionally, we’ll continue to improve the algorithmic trading service, because automated processes make the life and work of any trader much easier. StrategyQuant, a trading robots builder, attracts more and more clients. Such products are the thing of the future.