Report: A New Era for Forex
Media: Lufthansa Inflight Magazine
Sector: Foreign Exchange Trading
Publication Date: June 2015
As the global FX market has moved from the trading desks of big banks into the homes of retail traders, Alex Pusco of ActivTrades talks about developments in the world’s most liquid market.
UK-based company ActivTrades was founded 14 years ago by its innovative chief executive Alex Pusco, who has built the company from a small brokerage into an investment powerhouse. Growing its profit margin year after year, increasing its client base and laying out a solid technological infrastructure, ActivTrades provides first-rate trading services to investors worldwide.
You founded ActivTrades in 2001, at a time when FX was mostly traded by professional investors. Could you tell us about your company and how FX trading became mainstream?
I had already worked in the brokerage industry when I saw that trading platforms were taking off in the US, but were still in their infancy in the UK. I felt that this niche had huge expansion potential, but the market needed a company that puts its clients and their needs at the centre of the business. That is why I set up ActivTrades. FX trading quickly became popular. It is a flexible and fast-moving environment. FX allows private investors to spread their investments, providing an alternative to traditional forms of investment.
High profit-making opportunities attract investors to the FX industry, but the market is always changing and it may be hard for traders to keep up. How is ActivTrades helping its clients to become successful traders?
ActivTrades provides a comprehensive collection of learning resources and opportunities – including definitions of key terms, quick guides, individual training sessions and on-going free webinars led by top traders. These conferences typically cover in-demand topics and provide valuable insight for traders. We have created an all-in one educational hub, where visitors can find all our educational resources in one place. We understand that knowledge is the key for most traders, and that is why we will keep investing in free education.
The market recently experienced extreme volatility after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) discontinued the ‘CHF peg’. How did this affect your company?
Back in November 2014, ActivTrades anticipated the possibility of a shake in the CHF scene, which was later confirmed by the SNB announcement. Consequently, we decided at that time to increase the margin required on our CHF pairs by a multiple of 16 to be able to protect our clients by substantially limiting their exposure. So, we did not suffer any negative impact. We have robust risk management systems that will keep protecting our clients’ interests and safeguard the interests of the company as a whole.
How do you view the increased regulation across capital markets?
ActivTrades is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and is required to follow detailed rules and regulations. Increased regulation is good for all players in the industry. Overall, we need to ensure client protection remains the main goal because we protect our company by protecting our clients every day. It is a win-win scenario. Traders are wise, and they see the real benefits of operating with a trustworthy broker, even more after the events of the SNB and its impact on well-established brokers.
What are the hottest trends for ActivTrades going forward?
One of the biggest trends is mobile trading – no doubt about it. More than 50 per cent of trading is made on a mobile device. We are more and more attached to our mobile devices, and we want the experience to be as good as when using a desktop platform.