The majority of transactions have traditionally been made by phone, but the development of the internet and sophisticated trading software means that more and more people now have access to the world of forex trading from the comfort of their own homes. World Finance spoke to Nick Bang of ACM about the challenge of redefining traditional financial markets
As one of the world's leading brokerage companies, how has ACM challenged and redefined the industry and how have you maintained your competitive edge?
ACM was built, quite literally, by traders for traders. From the beginning the firm has focused on quality and timely execution. From this starting point, the company focal point has been the wants and needs of our FX traders. By continually updating our software, we have been able to remain at the forefront of retail trading technology. If it's a good idea and our clients want it, we make it happen.
In the future, how does ACM plan to keep evolving as a company in order to keep ahead of the competition?
Simply stated: growth, technology and service. ACM has grown from a Geneva-based brokerage to one of the largest FX brokerages worldwide. We will continue to nurture growth, new products and markets as the demand for our services increase globally. Further, ACM is committed to working with regulators to ensure a safe and fair market for all participants.
What can a trader expect in terms of certainty of execution?
An ACM client can expect that we will do our best to provide them the execution they deserve. No market is perfect, but ACM's execution system is unmatched in the retail FX market. Our clients trade with instant execution, one-click dealing, expanded intraday margins and guaranteed fills on limit and stop orders. By removing much of the uncertainty from financial trade execution, our clients can focus on the directions of the assets, not the market for them.
How do you ensure that the client is getting the best execution conditions?
To our knowledge, our firm connects to more FX liquidity than any other European brokerage. Our relationship with liquidity providers and our streamlined execution through them is actively managed by ACM during market hours.
Why is it so important for ACM to be transparent in everything you do?
Transparency is important for credibility and serves as an honest check for our clients. By remaining open to scrutiny, ACM clients know that their brokerage is sincere and forthright about how the firm generates revenue and how client's trades are processed and executed. Total transparency is the financial model of the future – after the 2008 equity market burn due to a lack of transparency and oversight – it's my opinion that few investors in the future will tolerate secrecy and vagueness from their financial institutions.
ACM is in the process of becoming a Swiss bank, in accordance with new regulations. How long will this process take to be completed and is this process something that you feel will benefit the company and its clients?
The ACM family will most definitively benefit by our transition to an online Swiss bank. From the company's standpoint, becoming a bank allows us to offer a vast new array of products and services. ACM was built around spot FX trading, but the future license provides the ability to offer new investment vehicles and Swiss banking services. Our clients will continue to benefit as ACM grows larger financially. As we become larger, the rates we secure will become more completive and ultimately the savings and benefits will be passed on to the clients.
As a company, what technology do you offer?
ACM provides access to the world FX market for investors of all sizes. Our software was developed in house and provides direct access to the market via the internet. We currently offer two desktop applications, Advanced Trader and MetaTrader 4. Access is further available through any internet browser with Web Trader. We provide a telephone dealing desk for investors unable to access the internet and a mobile application compatible with all Smartphones. We actually just rolled out a new iPhone app, which I have here on my phone. It allows individuals to sign up for a practice trading account directly from their iPhones and provides real-time market data and execution.
Can you explain the advantages of working within the FX market?
The FX market is the global market. The capital volume, liquidity, market hours and online access make the forex market available to all investors and speculators. With equal access to information and no entities holding power to outright set prices, the market itself determines pricing and approaches perfect market conditions in economic theory. For these reasons, there has been a steady influx of investors from traditional markets like equities and fixed income into the realm of FX. Unlike in the past, currencies are now widely accepted as a separate asset class and therefore necessary for portfolio diversification.
What does the future hold for ACM and how do you see the company moving forward?
One year from today, I believe ACM will only be bigger and better. The firm will continue to grow financially and offer new and improved investment products and services. Hopefully the company will acquire its Swiss banking license in the near future and this will help catapult ACM forward as an online Swiss bank and brokerage.
Nick Bang is managing director of ACM. For more information: www.ac-markets.com