Ali Rupani moves up to Chief Sales Officer at SquaredFinancial

Mr Rupani’s remit will likely be a varied one as SquaredFinancial enters an important service sector.

Prime of prime relationships and the future

The fintech led brokerage and investment firm, SquaredFinancial, continues to grow and develop its core team with the announcement that Ali Rupani has taken up the role of Chief Sales Officer.  

Mr Rupani, an ex-Goldman Sachs London trader who ran the bank’s FX Sales operations for MENA and Africa, previously headed up Squared Financials’ Groups Sales Team in Europe. He has over 15 years investment banking experience and has been key to the development of the company following it’s relaunched in May last year. 

Commenting on the appointment, Husam Al Kurdi,Chief Executive Officer at SquaredFinancial said: “We have put in place one of the strongest management teams of any brokerage firm in our sector. It is through the quality of our all our employees that we will continue to build and expand the business. Ali brings a depth of market knowledge and industry insights which will be of great benefit to all our clients. He is the right person to help take Squared to the next level.” 

Mr Rupani will be based out of the SquaredFinancial London offices but has a global remit overseeing the sales teams across Europe, Asia, LatAm and African. Ali graduated from University College London with a BA in Philosophy & Economics.

It is an important time to be leading the sales effort at SquaredFinancial, as the company has been preparing to acquire a digital bank, complete with full banking license and operational functionality, purely with the intention of providing banking services that are dedicated to the requirements of FX brokerages globally.

The service will be completely operated separately the business of its parent brokerage, however as it is run by a brokerage, it will be the first completely broker-agnostic digital banking service globally which serves the FX and electronic trading industry.

In the advent of such a vital move, FinanceFeeds spoke last year to Mr Al-Kurdi in Cyprus, who is leading this initiative.

Mr Al-Kurdi is an esteemed executive in the FX industry, having spent two decades working in the financial and banking industry during which time he has acquired an international reputation for developing and managing sophisticated trading companies. Prior to his appointment as CEO of Squared Financial, Mr Al-Kurdi was Head of Business Transformation in ADSS, joining the company from Swiss company MIG Bank prior to its acquisition by Swissquote, where he was head of e-trading.

One of the main problems facing existing and new brokerages is the setting up of bank accounts to manage payments, in and out, of the business.  Without transparent and efficient payment solutions brokerages struggle to provide safe and secure services and meet regulatory requirements, so this is a major issue.

Most tier 1st tier banks no longer offer services to brokerages.  This has been down to a number of factors, including changes to international regulation, such as the introduction of Basel III, data security and identity verification and compliance procedures; poor practices in some brokerages which have increased risk for the banks; and a lack of resources and expertise in the tier 1 banks to understand the brokerage model.

This has pushed brokerages to use 2nd or even 3rd tier banks which often require brokerages to use a complicated series of middlemen to be able to access the payment services they need.  This is not good for clients or brokerages or regulators, so there has to be a better answer.

“At SquaredFinancial we are in advanced negotiations to offer a digital banking service specifically design for brokerages.  We have taken the view that as an experienced broker we know the sector, the requirements and the issues and so are very well placed to be able to structure the banking services other brokerages need.  We have the knowledge and ability to cover KYC and AML requirements in the sector and if brokerages can access high-quality banking services, this will help improve the image and reputation of the whole sector” said Mr Al Kurdi.

“A SquaredFinancial digital bank would necessarily be ringfenced from the main business.  It will be established in a leading jurisdiction so that it has the regulatory strength to operate across multiple markets.  It has to be able to provide direct and transparent access to payment providers along with a full range of required banking products.  The operational knowledge we have of the sector will allow us to manage the risk and still offer the services other brokerages are looking for” he continued.

“In a number of different banking areas we are seeing digital licenses being used to provide this type of specialist service.  It is a very positive development which we want to take advantage of, and at the same time solve a major issue, for many brokerage businesses around the world.  It will reduce their costs, increase security and cut out a third party fraud” concluded Mr Al Kurdi.

In this respect, Mr Rupani’s remit will likely be a varied one as SquaredFinancial enters an important service sector.

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