Today, IronFX sits among the top 15 brokers worldwide according to the latest trading volume statistics. Here to stay, it has just embarked upon its global expansion strategy, which is the focus for 2013. IronFX’s Founder and CEO, Markos A Kashiouris states “the retail forex market is growing given the expansion of online usage, the social phenomenon effect, and the fact that forex is now considered a financial asset class.
“Moreover, market efficiency, volatility, adrenaline effect and the ease of trading has made forex very popular around the world. IronFX was established on the premise that a unique service-centred, customer-focus business model would disrupt the industry fundamentals, which historically have been based on black-box marketing expenditure.”
The model has been successful, and is evidenced by the swift and dynamic rise of IronFX to the top of the global online trading league tables. This is a continued and powerful growth with the company gaining a significant share in new markets throughout the world.
Expanding beyond fixed horizons
IronFX believes that the global online trading industry is moving towards a higher emphasis on added value customer service for end clients. As such, the mantra of IronFX’s “global presence, local reach” conveys a truly worldwide firm with a strong local presence, which appeals to more and more clients. In 2012, the IronFX Group – which comprises of IronFX Financial Services and other affiliated companies under the same corporate umbrella – commenced an aggressive expansion of its operations both at its headquarters, and globally with the opening of a number of offices around the world. This expansion is strictly governed by the relevant international and local regulations.
IronFX is regulated by ASIC (Australia) and CySec (Cyprus) . It is also registered with all regulatory bodies in Europe, and operates under the European MIFID passport. The group currently has offices in 17 cities: New York, London, Hong Kong, Sydney, Shanghai, Mumbai, Frankfurt, Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, São Paolo, Buenos Aires, Warsaw, Budapest, Johannesburg, Montevideo, Limassol, and plans to open an additional ten offices.
This global presence is coupled with the expansion of its headquartered operations. This is to manage the significantly increased level of activities required by a much higher number of clients, accounts and trading volumes. In response, IronFX are expanding its base of native account managers both at the headquarters as well as the local offices. At the moment, it employs over 220 people worldwide, out of which there are 150 account managers.
We spoke with IronFX’s Founder and CEO, Markos A Kashiouris at the London Stock Exchange Studios, about the firm’s award win, the state of the forex market, and much more.
Kashiouris states further that, “we are proud of the fact that we have 45 native language speaking account managers in our headquarters who, together with the locally based account managers, provide a formidable front office. They are fully trained to provide the best service to clients, something that can be done only in a clients’ native language and close physical proximity. Through these account managers, we effectively cover all the key geographical locations globally for our target markets.” In addition, its website is available in 28 languages, further providing the direct localised feeling that clients around the world require.
Built for success
As a result of dynamic growth, IronFX is adding a second trading floor within its existing headquarters. It will therefore operate from a 1,800sqm facility that is effectively split into two 900sqm trading floors.
The idea behind this construction is simple, according to Kashiouris: “We believe that online trading resembles – to a great extent – the trading done with physical delivery, explaining the set-up of the trading floor which has multiple benefits. The trading floor encourages collaboration among the account managers, as well as a healthy spirit of competition. It provides them with a constant flow of information, as well as access to the research and analysis department, the execution desk and the back-office.
It also encourages communication among the various team members, in between the teams and the management and employees. We generally operate a flat-level organisation, and the trading floor philosophy is the epitome of this management style.”
The company’s local presence and native account managers allow it to meet with clients on the ground, build long-term and trusted relationships as well as gaining expertise in the local market
Dominating the Asian market
Since its first year of operation, one of the main geographical regions that IronFX successfully garnered was Asia, Kashiouris explains, “when we reviewed the market prior to launching IronFX, we realised that online trading was in its infancy in Asia, but the product was growing at exponential rates, and the competition was moderate. We decided to aggressively penetrate the largest and most promising forex markets in this continent.” The strategy has been successful, with IronFX significantly enhancing its footprint in the Asian market since 2011, and is now recognised as one of the top Asian FX brokers.
Following this success, the IronFX Group has further expanded its presence in the Asian Pacific region by establishing a number of offices locally – including China, Malaysia and India. The Asian market is diverse, with each jurisdiction having a different culture and type of clientele. The company’s local presence and native account managers allow it to meet with clients on the ground, build long-term and trusted relationships, as well as gaining expertise in the local market and its dynamics. Furthermore, the Group is opening up an office in Sydney, Australia, fully utilising its ASIC license, with a view to improve coverage of the Asian market.
Europe, Middle East and Africa are growing regions for forex and CFDs. Investors – particularly in Europe – are looking at alternative financial trading instruments, and wish to expand their allocations from traditional stock market investments.
IronFX has adopted a strategy to target selected markets where growing interest and increased flow for forex activity is detected. In Europe, it covers both developed – UK, Spain, Italy, France, Germany – and developing countries – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Russia, Ukraine. Like many other jurisdictions around the world, in Europe clients appreciate a localised and personal approach, which often translates to face-to-face, group or individual meetings.
True to its model, dedicated native speaking account managers – who are located at the headquarters as well as local offices – performs customer service. The IronFX Group has opened offices in London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Budapest, Warsaw, Moscow, and is in the process of opening an additional office in Prague.
Middle East and Africa are also growing regions for forex. IronFX recently started developing in this market, with coverage in a number of North and South African countries as well as the Middle East. The company has a dedicated team of over 10 account managers covering this region that includes countries ranging from Egypt to South Africa.
The Middle Eastern market is particularly attractive for online trading. IronFX is now in the process of obtaining a regulated license from Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) by opening up an office in Dubai.
Latin American infiltration
IronFX has in fact recently commenced operations in Latin America. According to Kashiouris, “In our expeditionary trips to Latin America, we quickly came to the realisation that there are virtually no global brokers covering the market on a dedicated long-term basis, as it is dominated by localised, often unregulated, small brokers that provide an inferior service to clients. This was a great opportunity for us to access this continent. Hence why we embarked on this task with no hesitation”.
Building heavily on its Latin American operations, IronFX has added a significant number of native speaking account managers to its headquarters, as well as newly establishing offices in this continent.
These offices are in the process of being established with the company’s continent centre to be located in Montevideo, Uruguay. This will allow IronFX to maximise its coverage, and provide the best localised – and personalised – service to clients in numerous countries in the continent.
The local presence of IronFX in worldwide locations is an essential element of its mission to provide the best service to the end client. This unique approach differentiates and elevates IronFX from the competition, according to Kashiouris: “The ability to be locally based in almost every market that we cover at the same time as being one of the top global online brokers is revolutionary.”
Additionally, to provide the best personalised customer service, the widest variety of competitive products, and a seamless execution of trading, are key factors that make IronFX the global leader in online trading.
IronFX won Best CFD Trading Broker, Asia, and Best Customer Service Provider, Asia in the Exchanges & Brokers Awards 2013, as well as Best STP/ECN Broker in the Foreign Exchange Awards, 2013.