Who are you and what do you do as VP of Institutional FX?
My name is Richard Perona and over my career I have been able to gain experience in most of the front office jobs within the Forex industry. I have spent the majority of my time as a spot trader for institutional banks. Now, I am working for a joint venture firm between Advanced Markets & Fortex, as VP of Institutional FX. I coordinate with potential business clients for either Prime of Prime liquidity or cutting-edge technology for their FX needs.
Describe a typical work day
My day is spent connecting and maintaining relationships with interested parties in the Institutional or Wholesale clientele space. I gather information regarding their business models and needs and then structure an offering that is the best route for them to meet their needs in the Forex industry. I do spend a percentage of my time flying around the globe meeting clients or vendors face to face to ensure the relationship is on solid ground. Some of the cities I traveled to in the past 2 months are New York, Toronto, Chicago and now London. I do get to enjoy some perks of the industry, such as expos, nice dinners, golf tournaments and entertaining clients.
How is what you do important for the trading industry?
My role is split into 2 parts. One side is to find new clientele with whom to form mutually beneficial relationships to provide FX, CFDs and Metals liquidity. The second side is to understand the technology aspect of a potential client and offer them superior products to enhance their functionality. I also need to maintain open dialog with the present clients to continue improving our service to them. So, my role brings in new revenues while preserving the current base.
What do you love about your work?
The ever-changing currency market, which provides new opportunities each day is something I have always been interested in. Another aspect of my position is to assist clients in growing their business with superior industry products whether it is liquidity or our technology.
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What is the quintessential experience of working in the trading industry?
The size and scope of the currency market and the fundamentals that dictate the direction. I have also come to welcome meeting people from around the world with different points of view from mine so I can learn to look at things differently.
How old were you when you had your first paying job?
I believe I was 13 when I took a job working in a restaurant. My first position in the FX industry was at 21. I was a Financial Analyst at Citibank, NYC, on the FX trading floor while working part time as Assistant Trader for the NY night desk.
Who do you admire?
Jim Rogers, I like and agree with most his ideas. Jim insisted in the early 2000’s that commodities across the board should increase in value. Soon enough we saw those trades paid off in a big way, so I have made an effort to give an ear when he makes a prediction. Jim Rodgers always says he is not good at timing the market, but eventually fundamentals will take over.
Please share an anecdote that is unique to our industry.
An old market phrase has always stuck in my head throughout my career. “The market can be irrational, longer than you can be liquid.” As we saw in the FX carry trade phase in 2006-08, the market had irrational exuberance and currency markets were greatly overvalued. The following market collapse was something I was waiting on for a long time, but, eventually, fundamentals took over.
What advice would you like to share here that has been important to you?
The most important thing I have learned in 16 years in the FX industry is to only work with highly regulated and capitalized firms that can weather the inevitable storms that also have excellent technology. If you try to find the cheaper option, you will pay for it in the long run.