Exness at iFX EXPO Dubai 2022: Crypto, record volumes, and tips for brokers

Rick Steves

Finance Feeds was at iFX EXPO Dubai 2022, one of the most popular finance and fintech B2B conferences in the world.

The event, which took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 22-24 February 2022, brought together FX industry leaders from across the globe looking to engage with their peers, grow their business, and have fun.

Not only was there an incredible speaker lineup, but also in-depth public discussions between industry leaders and thousands of visitors.

As such, the event is where brokers go for more opportunities to grow their business, check on technology providers, spot the trends in the financial technology and digital asset industry, amongst others.

On that note, Finance Feeds had the chance to set up an interview with Damian Bunce from Exness, the multi-asset broker that needs no introduction.

“I love coming to events like this. Not only to evaluate competition, but also to meet up with industry peers, network a bit”. Exness was a top sponsor at the iFX EXPO Dubai and the apparatus around the broker was evident. “We’re a big brand, a big broker. We want to make sure we establish ourselves in the way we see ourselves.”

Exness: Combining science with human approach

Damian Bunce is Chief Trading Officer and member of the executive team at Exness since January 2021, when he joined from Saxo Bank.

“I had a tremendous year at Exness. a very dynamic organization. You may have read about our philosophy, our principles. We pivot around a scientific approach. We have a lot of clever people using mathematical models to do things in a better way and we combine that with a very human approach”, he said as he explained 2022 is “the year of the employee” at Exness, where the focus is on their happiness. “It’s a great blend of science, people and fast-pace.”

Damian Bunce’s key focus is to develop, support and grow the science of market making to a broader set of markets, client types and liquidity sources. But what makes Exness the leader in price discovery and execution when it comes to different asset classes?

“We have to remember the dynamics of execution are ultimately in the underlying models, the maths. How clever are you to price and predict markets across all asset classes. That comes with fine tuning, data, and analysis”, he said.

“It’s in our DNA. We do a good job at that. But ultimately all of it is nonsense if the product provided to your clients is poorly serviced or is not delivered in a good, elegant way. So, from our perspective, the reason we’ve had tremendous volumes and we’re the largest broker in the retail space is because we focus very heavily on building excellent products, super tight spreads, fantastic slippage levels, and making sure the client experience is the best in the industry.”

How does Exness achieve such record volumes in retail trading?

The multi-asset retail market maker executed over $11 trillion annual trading volume in 2021. Record month after record month. In such a competitive industry, brokers at the event look at Exness for tips. Is it customer engagement? Education?

“I can’t give you the secret sauce entirely but it’s the combination of all those factors. You obviously need to have a good product. That’s the starting point. And our product is excellent. If you want to appeal to sophisticated traders, they care in detail about speed, slippage, latency, spread, all of these things have to be good”, Bunce said.

“We have a third party distribution model. We have IBs to effectively market our services. That’s a great model. IBs are incentivized to build close relationships with clients, so they’re loyal and long term. And we’re there in times of crises and that word gets around. That helps us. Word of mouth is a good marketing tool”.

“There is, however, no silver bullet in an industry as competitive as ours. Brokers must do a good job in every area”, he added.

Exness is known to really take care of its people and as we enter the “year of the employee”, Damian Bunce started off by saying the broker extended the share program, which allows more of its staff to have a stake in the equity of the company.

“That’s a big deal. We increased the dividend this year for all those employees. So there’s a financial benefit”, he said, as he pointed out to other initiatives at Exness, including wealthcare. A lot of people within the FX industry have suffered psychologically throughout the pandemic. Not only employees, but also their families.

“We stepped up and made sure we helped everyone who suffered during Covid”. The broker launched entertainment programs for the families, to make them happy and enjoy their lives as they moved to the island.

Hiring spree, expansion, and being full-on Crypto

Exness has also partnered with the University of Nicosia for its MSc in blockchain and digital currency, the first master’s degree of its kind in the world.

“Every employee, me included, needs to get upskilled in that area”, Bunce said, thus showing how important digital assets are for Exness now and going forward. “The thing on the immediate horizon is a bigger and broader approach to Crypto. We’re increasing the range, and we’re enhancing functionality for clients”.

As an example, Exness has launched mid-point stop outs for all instruments, allowing traders to maintain balances for longer. The broker also added a custom stop out functionality to help those who want to protect some of their money.

“We continue to innovate in that space. Also on the payment side by expanding gateways and methods, and growing in terms of regions and new markets”, he continued, pointing to the firm’s hyper growth phase, with 700 hired in 2021 and a similar figure is expected in 2022 as the broker expands geographically, with a recent FSCA license in South Africa and a pending market maker license in Dubai.

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