Advanced Markets at iFX EXPO Asia 2023: “Customization is what we do best”

FinanceFeeds Editorial Team

Advanced Markets’ Irene Kambouris and Ahmed Atteya spoke with FinanceFeeds’ Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev as the 100% STP broker looks to enter Asia with a customizable offering of liquidity, credit, and technology for FX brokers.

iFX EXPO ASIA 2023 interviews

This year’s iFX EXPO Asia took place at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld.

From 20 to 22 June, the arena hosted 3,000 attendees, exhibitors and sponsors which included successful start-ups, leading international brands, and industry giants.

Advanced Markets for 100% DMA access to FX liquidity

Among the leading FX brands present at iFX EXPO Asia 2023 was Advanced Markets, the renowned provider of institutional-grade liquidity and technology solutions for the foreign exchange (forex) and precious metals markets.

Advanced Markets provides retail FX and CFD brokers with access to prime of prime liquidity with ultra-low latency and a sub-30ms targeted execution time, tight institutional spreads, swift account funding, and fast onboarding.

The company is privately held; outside investors include Macquarie Americas Corp Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Macquarie Bank, and GFI Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of BGC Partners. It is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. Incorporated in Bermuda and licensed in the UK (FCA) and Australia (ASIC), Advanced Markets has been providing multi-asset, tier-1 liquidity and pioneering 100% DMA execution for the past 17 years.

In the last few months, the Straight Through Processing (STP) broker has been expanding its roster of trading technology partners with the addition of high-end MT4/MT5 bridging specialists, including FXCubic, PrimeXM, and Brokeree Solutions.

Secret Sauce: Customization, Customization, Customization

Advanced Markets attended the Thailand expo as institutional attention shifts to the Asia Pacific with the expansion of connectivity in key financial hubs, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo, to enhance pricing and execution in the region. The firm wants a piece of the action.

To discuss all the above, as well as the Advanced Markets signature style within the FX industry, FinanceFeeds’ Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev spoke with Irene Kambouris, Head of Global Operations at Advanced Markets, and Ahmed Atteya, COO of Advanced Markets Group.

Advanced Markets
Irene Kambouris and Ahmed Atteya spoke with FinanceFeeds’ Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev

“At the forefront of our operational philosophy lies the core concept of customization. It is our commitment to tailor liquidity solutions to each and every one of our clients, bearing in mind their unique needs and requirements. When our clients present us with distinct and precise demands, particularly those entailing heightened execution sensitivity or pricing intricacies, we strive to adapt and personalize our offerings, whilst maintaining our dedication to fostering direct and meaningful interactions with the client,” Irene Kambouris explained.

When asked about the company’s credit solutions amid rising interest rates, the Head of Global Operations insisted: “Customization is a paramount consideration in matters linked to leverage and related facets. We attentively listen to our clientele’s perspectives regarding liquidity, credit, and leverage, ensuring that their requirements form the cornerstone of our approach. With dedication, we try to accommodate their specific needs by tailoring our offerings accordingly.”

Advanced Markets is in a position of extending higher credit lines to select institutional clients, which is something that many venues can’t do. Chief Operating Officer Ahmed Atteya added that each client is unique and has their own needs. “When it comes to credit, some want more, others are more conservative. We can accommodate both.”

“What makes us different is the after-sales support”

Amid the ongoing shift in institutional FX where Tier 1 players are exiting the prime brokerage space, Advanced Markets has been adding multiple LPs (banks, non-banks, hedge funds) to allow clients to get the best possible liquidity in the market.

Additionally, the firm is further diversifying its technology offering and has been forging synergistic alliances with diverse technological platforms while integrating with more aggregation and bridging solutions, including Gold-i, PrimeXM, FXCubic, Brokeree, and longtime partner Fortex. “Irrespective of the client’s background or technological infrastructure, we stand poised to adapt and cater to their distinctive liquidity and technological needs, ensuring unparalleled experience”, Ahmed added.

What truly differentiates Advanced Markets from its competitors, however, is the 24-hour exemplary customer service “diligently positioned to provide steadfast guidance and unwavering assistance to our valued clients”, said Irene, to which Ahmed agreed. “We all have the same liquidity, the same LPs”, he continued, noting that it may vary depending on the product, but “the differentiating factor lies in our after-sales services. Our exceptional support team stands as a testament to our commitment, poised to intervene and assist clients, regardless of the circumstances. This distinguishing factor is precisely why we witness a multitude of clients entrusting us for extended periods, fostering enduring and mutually beneficial partnerships. Both Irene and I joined nine years ago, and we still have clients from that time.”

Asian FX brokers know what they want

The two joined Advanced Markets in 2014 as Vice Presidents in its Charlotte business development team. Fast forward to 2023, Irene Kambouris and Ahmed Atteya are at the top of Advanced Markets, now eyeing opportunities in Asia.

“Our current presence in Asia may not yet encompass a substantial footprint, but we are aiming to penetrate and establish ourselves within this vibrant market. The Asian market exhibits distinct characteristics in terms of the products traded. Specifically, the focus centers around currencies such as JPY and NZD, as well as indices like the Nikkei. This unique market environment necessitates a thorough understanding of specific requirements, with a pronounced emphasis on spreads and the expeditious execution of trades”, said Ahmed.

When compared to European broker clients, Asian FX brokers are more inclined to know what they want, Irene noted. “We are navigating the terrain to assess the potential avenues and determine how we can effectively cater to the requirements of this market.”

“We’ve been growing in the last couple of years, adding more products and points of presence around the world”, Ahmed continued. “The Asian market is our next stop.”

Liquidity Providers are looking to Asia for price generation

The rising interest in Asia comes on the heels of bank and non-bank Liquidity Providers’ connectivity expansion to data centers in the Asia Pacific region.

“There’s now a shift in momentum where most of them want price creation, generation, discovery in Asia”, Ahmed explained.

“We observe a progressive trend among our Liquidity Providers, where they are undertaking the implementation of data centers within Asia. This strategic move allows them to generate prices directly within the region, circumventing the challenges associated with transmitting prices from distant locations such as London or New York. By establishing data centers close to the Asian market, these providers can significantly reduce latency and enhance the speed of execution, thereby addressing pertinent issues and ensuring optimal trading efficiency.”

Retail brokers should limit LPs to two or three

As momentum for the FX industry in Asia grows, FinanceFeeds’ Nikolai Isayev asked how does Advanced Markets fulfil brokers’ needs amid the liquidity challenges, namely with specific products. Besides being able to “provide the best liquidity in the market”, the company’s COO said he always advises clients to limit LPs to two or three, because more than that will complicate the bilateral relationships with prime brokers.

“This approach entails the exchange of collateral, fund transfers, and the establishment of diverse long and short positions across multiple liquidity providers. Hence, my recommendation to clients is to carefully select the most optimal liquidity provider and maintain an enduring partnership, thereby streamlining trading operations”, Ahmed continued as he added that tier-1 banks “are less inclined to accommodate simultaneous requests from multiple sources”.

Following Ahmed Atteya’s valuable insights, Irene Kambouris reminded Nikolai and the FinanceFeeds audience that Advanced Markets does listen to its clients. “Ahmed has direct access to the LPs and we give clients what they need. It’s a matter of communication.”

The FinanceFeeds interview with Ahmed Atteya and Irene Kambouris took place at the end of iFX Asia EXPO 2023. After two days of intense networking, Advanced Markets is expected to move forward with selected business opportunities in Asia and we will likely see them next year.

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