Since working at CFH’s Hong Kong office I have gained insight into the opportunities and challenges for businesses in our industry wishing to grow in Asia.
Meaningful business relation-ships cannot be forged solely on the telephone
I think businesses that are serious about growth in Asia need to have a local presence. It’s important to operate within the Asian time zone but, just as important, is having an office for clients to visit for face-to-face meetings.
Meaningful business relationships cannot be forged solely on the telephone – and this is even more apparent in this region compared to the West. Hong Kong is a fantastic launch pad for growing an Asia- Pacific client base. From Hong Kong a business can offer a personalised service and show a commitment to clients across the region.
The other imperative is local language support. In addition to our Hong Kong office, CFH also has an office in Tokyo – both offer multi-lingual client services. Having native speakers is critical for a Western business wanting to grow in Asia. Of course, there are a vast number of fluent English speakers across Asia but it is rare for anyone to possess complete knowledge of the subtleties and nuances of two (West/East) languages.
Don’t carbon copy a western strategy
Cultural misunderstandings from miscommunication are common – navigating complex pitches and negotiations is challenging without native speakers involved. Having staff/colleagues who are aware of the differing business cultures is key.
Trying to carbon copy a growth strategy that worked in the West and expecting the same result in Asia is unrealistic. Our responsibilities in Asia and specifically China is to find common ground on which to build meaningful relationships or guanxi as it is known in China.
Trying to carbon copy a growth strategy that worked in the West and expecting the same result in Asia is unrealistic
There will always be local potential clients who prefer dealing with Asian owned companies. However, active, sophisticated FX clients are increasingly aware that London is the global capital of foreign exchange.
They know that London’s data centres boast the busiest and most liquid trading centres and that the FCA is one of the most respected regulators worldwide. This increasing awareness is creating real opportunities for us as we continue to build bridges into new sub-regions and client types.
If we continue to deliver the best FX & CFD Prime Brokerage, inclusive of our comprehensive proprietary technology, we are able to build those bridges. Within European retail FX brokerage much has been made of STP trade execution as the fairer, cleaner business model. The phrase ‘no conflict of interest’ has been well exercised. In the East, the trend is less well defined. CFH is positioned to work with clients that have various hedging requirements.
Active, sophis-ticated FX clients are increasingly aware that London is the global capital of foreign exchange
In 2017, Prime of Prime providers must be a great deal more than just liquidity and technology re-sellers. Our job is to equip clients with the correct tools to be successful – whether this takes the form of assisting our clients with adherence to regulation, liquidity optimisation, hosting/connectivity, profitability or white labelling options.
CFH can offer all of this and therefore is at the forefront in providing total Prime of Prime solutions to clients in the Asia-Pacific region.
This article is written by James Dewdney, part of the Institutional Sales team at CFH’s Hong Kong office.