iFX Expo Asia 2023: Admirals’ Laura Liisa Lemetsar spotlights business structure in Asia
In a continuation of our coverage for the IFX Expo Asia event in Bangkok, day two brought forth engaging conversations and interviews. Laura Liisa Lemetsar, director of the ASEAN region at Admirals, took the opportunity to share her insights and offered valuable perspectives.
This year’s show offered abundant networking opportunities for attendees. The expo floor was filled with branding displays, booths, sponsorships, lounges, a speaker hall, and an idea hub, providing a dynamic environment for networking and business interactions. Whether in the Business Lounge, the Coffee Bar, or the Beer Bar, participants had numerous options to connect, engage, and conduct business according to their preferences.
With the event buzzing in full swing, the interview started with FinanceFeeds Editor in Chief Nikolai Isayev extending gratitude to Laura Liisa Lemetsar for taking the time to join us. Laura reciprocated the appreciation and expressed her gratitude for the visit to Admirals’ booth.
Laura initiated our conversation by delving into the pivotal role of educational content in the forex and CFD broker industry. She highlighted Admirals’ approach to client onboarding, retention, and long-term growth, with a strong emphasis on financial literacy.
Recognizing the role of education, Lemetsar stressed that it plays a pivotal role in the longevity of traders’ lifecycle and their overall success. By providing opportunities for traders to educate themselves, brokers can establish a mutually beneficial relationship. In terms of client retention and onboarding, educational content serves as a means of capturing traders’ interest while showcasing the broker’s expertise.
As an all-encompassing brokerage house, Admirals not only offers CFDs and forex services but also provides investment options derived from stock broking. This multifaceted approach enables clients to see sustained growth and actively participate in various markets. Admirals also offers educational resources tailored to different levels of traders, starting with demo accounts that allow newcomers to practice and gain confidence since there is no real money at stake. They also cater to experienced traders who may seek to explore new techniques or refine their trading strategies.
Education holds a prominent place in Admirals’ agenda, said Laura, aligning with their financial inclusion goal. She also detailed the importance of adapting educational approaches to the Asian market, which differs from the European landscape.
Further elaborating on the same topic, Lemetsar shed light on the combination of online and offline education, mentoring programs, and regional variations in educational approaches.
Admirals takes an inclusive approach to education, employing a combination of online and offline resources to cater to the diverse needs of their clients. They offer webinars in multiple languages as an effective means of delivering educational content. These webinars serve as an accessible and convenient platform for clients to enhance their knowledge and skills.
Mentorship plays a vital role in Admirals’ educational offerings. Account managers take on the role of mentors, assisting clients in setting goals and tracking their progress. This collaborative approach helps clients align their trading objectives and provides valuable guidance along their trading journey.
As the interview turned to regional differences, Lemetsar highlighted Admirals’ global presence and their commitment to academic expansion. While her responsibilities specifically focused on the Asian market, she spoke about the collaboration with colleagues in other regions, such as Europe and South Africa.
Lemetsar also provided insights into the educational initiatives undertaken by Admirals, with a keen focus on the Indonesian market. In Indonesia, Admirals has established “Akademi Admirals,” a dedicated platform solely focused on financial education. Local educators organize seminars and collaborations to boost financial literacy in the region. This initiative has gained traction and contributed to increasing awareness and understanding of financial matters.
Moving onto another topic of interest, FinanceFeeds asked Laura about the brokerage’s product offerings and their tailored approach in the ASEAN region.
Lemetsar discussed the range of accounts available to clients and the specific financial instruments that cater to the preferences of traders in the region.
Admirals, with over 20 years of experience in Europe, has garnered a reputation for offering a diverse product range. In the ASEAN region, Lemetsar explained that their offerings align with the trading preferences observed in the market. More specifically, she noted that Forex, gold, oil, commodities, and cryptocurrencies have gained popularity within the region’s dynamic trading landscape.
Recognizing the varying needs of traders, Admirals also offers a trading account type that appeals particularly to newcomers. This account consolidates trading instruments and capital market instruments, including stocks and ETFs, under one roof. This flexibility allows clients to navigate seamlessly between different investment options. Recently, Admirals also launched fractional shares, a product that resonates well with the region’s traders. This feature is a way to lower the bar for young investors, allowing small-bucks traders to diversify their portfolios by spreading their relatively small capital over a broader range of stocks.
As the conversation expanded, Laura told us about the most traded instruments in the region, considering both the prevailing macroeconomic environment and Admirals’ statistical analysis.
Undoubtedly, gold stands out as a significant asset class in Asia, given the current macroeconomic conditions and the global financial landscape. This aligns with industry-wide trends and is a common observation among brokers operating in the region. Admirals has capitalized on the popularity of gold by offering competitive spreads and tailored services to cater to traders’ demands in this asset class.
Stocks, major FX pairs and crypto CFDs also hold a prominent place among the most popular asset classes in Asia. In response, Admirals has developed versatile trading options to cater to this growing demand, Laura explains.
When asked about the reasons behind the company’s choice of Malaysia as its Asian hub and the challenges and opportunities of overseeing diverse teams in the region, Lemetsar mentioned several crucial factors.
Lemetsar, with her five years of experience in the region, emphasized the importance of localization and cultural understanding, acknowledging that each country within the APAC region has its own unique needs. In Malaysia, Admirals primarily focuses on back-office functions, ensuring collaboration with their global team.
By establishing a hub in Malaysia, the company can tap into the diverse talent pool and leverage the country’s strategic location within the region. For example, Indonesia is known for its exceptional design talent, while Malaysia boasts English-speaking professionals with proficiency in other languages such as Chinese, Bahasa Malaysia, and more.
While recruiting and managing diverse teams may initially seem daunting, Lemetsar said that Asia is a talent magnet, offering a pool of skilled individuals. Each country brings its own set of strengths, enabling Admirals to tap into a diverse talent pool and build teams with the necessary expertise and cultural understanding.
Earlier in June, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas opened the Estonian embassy and business hub in Singapore. We were curious to know Ms. Lemetsar’s take on this milestone.
She believes that Estonia’s expansion of diplomatic ties in Asia presents promising prospects for Admirals. Singapore, known as one of the world’s leading financial hubs, serves as a gateway to Southeast Asia.
Lemetsar was also excited about the prospects to collaborate more extensively in the Singaporean market and engage with partners, clients, and industry stakeholders through events and initiatives organized by the newly established Estonian business hub. She added that Admirals, with its 10 to 15 years of experience in Asia, intends to leverage its regional knowledge and networks to assist fellow Estonian companies seeking opportunities in markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and India.
As the investing and trading landscape continues to evolve, Admirals remains dedicated to supporting clients in Asia and beyond, enabling them to participate in global financial markets and safeguard their financial futures.
As our interview concludes, Laura shared her insights on the current state and future of investing and trading, particularly in the Asian market. She discussed the recent trends and highlighted Admirals’ role in providing customers with an edge in the ever-evolving financial landscape.
The discussion also touched on market events that have shaped recent trading dynamics, such as the negative crude oil prices in 2020, the meme stock craze in early 2021, and the gamification of trading, which continues to draw regulatory attention. Lemetsar also mentioned the inflationary pressures and market volatility experienced towards the end of 2022 and early 2023, which have since subsided.
She added that with Admirals’ extensive product line and 22 years of industry experience, they are well-equipped to cater to the diverse needs of traders and investors in Asia. Their range of regulated instruments, including over 6,000 tradable assets, allows clients to navigate the complexities of long-term growth, secure their finances against inflation, and understand the impact of global macroeconomic incidents on the Asian region.