Exclusive: The man who took FX to Africa! Jean-Raphael Nahas moves to FX88 after 5 years at Blackwell Global

Jean-Raphael Nahas stands out as a senior business development executive with genuine knowledge in establishing successful operations in emerging regions. This week, his five year tenure comes to a close as he moves on to FX88 as Business Development Director

Africa is, without doubt as much of a fascinating and varied continent as it is an enigma.

For retail FX brokerages, this vast land mass has been viewed as an area of great interest due to the willingness of its urban population to invest in alternative asset classes and their innate distrust for local institutions and methodology.

Whilst this has presented a massive opportunity, navigating the extremely difficult business landscape in many of the countries with the greatest potential client acquisition opportunities is not for the feint hearted, and thus the immaturity of the market remains.

Except in one case, that being the case of Blackwell Global, a large retail FX firm whose origins lie in the Asia Pacific region, and whose client base is largely centered on the Chinese mainland.

Indeed, Blackwell Global is one of the most prominent brokerages among Chinese IBs, and has been for several years, however from the company’s international office in Cyprus, Jean-Raphael Nahas spent five years as Head of Business Development, before leaving this week to join FX88 as Business Development Director.

Mr Nahas, during his tenure at Blackwell Global, actually succeeded in establishing the company’s office in Nigeria, and has regaled to FinanceFeeds on many occasions the interesting matters that need to be overcome when making an entry – and more importantly a success – in any of Africa’s untapped markets.

Jean-Raphael Nahas with Andrew Saks-McLeod at Blackwell Global’s european office in Cyprus

One aspect is cost, where an advantage lies if approached properly. In February this year, Mr Nahas explained to FinanceFeeds “In Nigeria, there is currently a fantastic opportunity and great potential, partly due to the devaluation of the naira. Nigeria is an attractive destination for international brokers to set up, and some brokers have been there for some years now. it is important to take this opportunity to set up an office for very little money.”

Mr Nahas, who joins FX88 this week, will look to continue his foray into Africa, this time concentrating on taking the company into the continent’s most developed and well organized nation, South Africa.

South Africa is renowned for having an excellent banking structure, and a very well organized financial markets economy, which dates back to the colonial period, and was, rather like that of Australia, originally based on raw materials and commodities trading.

Mr Nahas expressed his concern over European banks’ sustainability recently, explaining to FinanceFeeds

“The main worry now for European banks is the plunge of interest rates being set to a negative which of course will have effect on the balance sheets. in addition many banks are exposed due to the oil prices. overall this brings great uncertainty to trade bank stocks and there is a way FX companies can benefit this from this change.”

“Forex companies nowadays offer a number of trading instruments and therefore can attract many investors. Investors can benefit ofcourse from the high liquidity round the clock and benefit from the leverage offerings” concluded Mr. Nahas.

By identifying and succeeding in new markets with great opportunities, Mr Nahas is one of the astute business development professionals of the industry.

A resident of Cyprus, Mr Nahas is multilingual, and was educated in Britain at the University of Portsmouth, where he graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Marketing.

Hear more of Jean-Raphael Nahas insights into succeeding in new and exciting markets in this podcast:

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