Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Paul Jackson. I am Global Head of Sales at CFH Clearing Ltd., responsible for managing an experienced sales team of around 20 people worldwide. We mainly focus on client acquisition, business development and customer service. I’m also heavily involved in marketing, PR and product development.
I started out as an FX and options trader over 20 years ago in a US bank, and have since moved into more managerial roles by heading sales trading and sales teams.
I have been at CFH for nearly 2 years now, based in our London office.
Describe a typical work day.
I’m pleased to say that each day varies quite a bit which keeps it interesting, sometimes challenging, but also very rewarding. As I mentioned earlier, when I was a trader I would pretty much know day to day what to expect, maybe different risks and decisions to make but the pattern would not change that much.
Nowadays, as CFH is an international company offering multiple products and services, no one day is ever the same.
That said, I do have my own daily routine starting with a strong morning coffee, catching up on news and emails on my commute into London. I try to plan ahead as best I can by; organizing meetings, prioritizing projects, attending to clients and staff, and managing general day to day tasks.
How is what you do important for the trading industry?
I’m not that egotistical to think my role itself affects the industry, but I would say that CFH Clearing as a company is very client-focused and strives to deliver an honest, transparent and professional service to clients through our advanced technology and under strict regulatory guidelines.
By doing so, we give clients the opportunity to develop their own product offering through tried and tested systems, build out their value proposition and optimize revenue streams.
What do you love about your work?
The people. At CFH I’m surrounded by talented staff that understand this industry well and are always looking to improve our products and services. Technology is at the heart of CFH and we offer a multitude of trading platforms. It makes it far more interesting for me to have a diverse array of products to offer rather than a one dimensional conversation about the spread of EUR/USD for example.
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Although CFH is now well established, we’ve managed to maintain a real family feel within the company, where each department works in cohesion and few conflicts ever arise.
What is the quintessential experience of working in the trading industry?
I don’t think there’s another industry quite like ours that can be so directly and immediately influenced by external factors.
You can prepare for most eventualities but you never know 100% what twist or turn might be lurking round the corner. Whether it’s a political or economical event as we all faced last January, or new regulatory requirement, there’s always something that can throw up a fresh new challenge. It can be a very volatile environment to establish and build a sustainable business model, but when you get it right the rewards can also be fantastic.
I guess this is part of what keeps this market interesting and dynamic.
Who do you admire?
My parents. They’ve always played a huge part in my life and I admire them both equally. Still going strong after 46 years of marriage!
I’m also a big sports fan and admire anyone that has the determination, persona and technical ability to play at the highest level, people like David Beckham, Lionel Messi, Michael Jordan to name a few.
Please share an anecdote that is unique to our industry.
In 1996 I joined one of the first ever online margin FX trading companies in the world. Back then, there was no such thing as streaming price feeds, everything had to be updated manually using a mouse, by listening to a voice broker on a Squawk box and eyeballing a news terminal. All trades would be written onto a ticket pad, timestamped, booked and then verified into a back office system. On top of this, clients would trade on the phone, sometimes in big amounts and at the same time as updating prices I would be hedging the risk with a bank.
It was hard at times to juggle updating prices accurately, dealing with clients on the phone, hedging with counterparties and booking trades….but I loved it and have really fond memories of those early days. There was no better way for me to get a feel for price action and pivotal levels, than by following the market so intently.
In a few words, what advice would you like to share here that has been important to you?
Be honest, professional and work hard.