Achieving this success has been no small feat. The company’s progress over the last few years is a direct result of FXCM’s dedication to offering the most innovative trading platforms combined with a business model that works in the interests of both the broker and the customer.
An integral part of FXCM’s success, according to Drew Niv, is its ability to embrace each customer’s individual needs. While many of FXCM’s competitors limit their traders’ experience by offering a one size fits all approach to trading, FXCM has learned that all customers are different and have a variety of needs and demands.
An individual service
FXCM offers a suite of different trading platforms which allows them to service traders of all spectrums, from the more traditional customer who wants to trade using live charts, to a computer programmer who wants to write a bespoke trading strategy and have it execute automatically.
Drew Niv explains: “We have found that in offering such a variety, we have managed to cater to the majority of our traders’ needs.
“Also, our No Dealing Desk forex execution policy has been extremely well received. There are some refreshing differences between the FXCM business model and that of the classic forex brokerage firm. While many brokers act as market makers to their clients, resulting in them running a trading book against their clients, FXCM does not. Trading with FXCM means that we only make money from the dealing spread. We want our customers to be successful in their trading efforts so they will trade longer and more often.”
Thriving on competition
FXCM has also been expanding internationally over the last two years, concentrating on the UK market. Their latest acquisition is established London broker ODL Securities Limited.
“We are currently focusing on the UK primarily, which we believe will prove to be an excellent marketplace considering the range of trading platforms and excellent customer service we offer,” says Mr Niv. “We see the UK market as being an excellent place to expand into, despite there already being a host of rival brokers operating there. Although competition is aggressive in the UK, we do not believe there are any brokers who offer the same unique trading offering as we do.
“Overall, the international aspect to our business has had a largely positive influence on our business because it has allowed us to offer a local service to certain areas where forex trading is very popular. FXCM, as a company, not only welcomes competition from other brokers but thrives on it. So we jump at the opportunity of entering into new markets.”
This level of expansion has helped FXCM develop into a company that, despite being based in New York, has established a number of international offices that add value to its global synergy, help diversify its client base, and expose it to new forms of competition.
“Education and research are key”
A reputation of fairness and honesty is something that FXCM has always strived for, aiming to be the most open and transparent broker in the industry, through their commitment to education, research programs and high standards of employee training.
“We certainly agree that our reputation is an extremely valuable corporate asset and we will continue to strive to be the most open and transparent broker in the industry,” Mr Niv says. “Education and research are key when it comes to helping our customers become more successful in their trading and we firmly believe in educating our customers on the way our business model works.
“We have a team of analysts who provide daily market analysis and trading education on Dailyfx.com, training videos and even interactive live webinars to address areas of forex trading that commonly cause confusion for clients,” he says. “DailyFX for Beginners is also available to all potential new forex traders, which provides easy to understand guidance on the basics.”
FXCM is also careful to nurture the investment it makes in its staff, providing them with ongoing professional training courses, regardless of where they are in the company and what stage they are at in their career.
“As with many successful businesses, our company is only as good as its staff,” says Mr Niv. “Good management and training always becomes evident when dealing with someone who works in customer services and it can often be the difference between success and failure. As a retail brokerage, it is essential that we put customers first and do everything we can to make sure that they are both cared for and assisted with any query they may have.”
A market leader
As a company, FXCM stands by core values to ensure that they are as successful as they can be in the field and stay as a market leader.
“FXCM believes that transparency in all areas of our business, particularly trade execution and transparency is necessary,” Mr Niv says.
“We also realised early on that good client retention comes from having a robust offering and enthusiastic customer service representatives who are motivated to help the customer. Everything we do is driven towards making the customer experience as good as possible.
“The global recession of the last two years has put financial strain on the whole financial industry, so we have always ensured that we operate in a stable environment and take a sensible approach to managing risks.”
The next big thing
FXCM’s aim to provide such a transparent service and fair execution has also given them a reputation as an innovator, constantly improving its platforms and technical offerings so that it can continue to be a market leader.
“Anticipating the next big thing in our industry is never easy,” says Mr Niv. “Our approach is to provide a solution to a problem that is in the interests of all parties involved. Long term relationships never work if the scale is significantly tipped in the broker’s favor. We want our customers to understand our business model, particularly the No Dealing Desk forex execution principle; we believe that it provides great reassurance to customers.”
FXCM’s numerous innovative services set it apart from the rest; a variety of different trading platforms, ensuring that there is a solution for every customer; No Dealing Desk forex execution advantage; Daily FX; and 24-hour customer service, with offices around the world mobile trading on iPhone and BlackBerry.
A market innovator
The latest innovation from FXCM is the Strategy Trader platform, which allows customers to create an automated trading strategy that will execute trades on their account whenever specified technical criteria are reached.
“The demand for automated trading strategies has surged over the past two years and this has led to the development of this new platform,” says Mr Niv.
“In the past, automated trading was something only the largest banks could enjoy; however, we have brought the same type of technology to the retail client. It’s no coincidence that retail customers are becoming savvier these days and we look to complement their increased knowledge by offering more sophisticated products.”
So what does the future hold for this market innovator? Mr Niv believes that the company will continue to grow and develop, but not at the expense of its core values.
“We want to continue to grow the company and expand into new regions. However, we will not do this at the detriment to our efforts in innovation and transparency,” he says. “Trading foreign exchange on margin carries a high level of risk, and may not be suitable for all investors. Before trading the foreign exchange products offered by FXCM you should carefully consider your objectives, financial situation, needs and level of experience.”