“Mind The Gap!” – The life and times of a man on the move Episode 39
Hedge fund veterans can maximize your leads, I get in-Volvo-d as a world record is about to be smashed, and what on earth is Theresa May doing?
In this weekly series, I look back on what stood out, what was bemusing, amusing and interesting during my weekly travels, interesting findings within the FX industry and interaction with an ever-shrinking big wide world. This is purely observational and for your enjoyment.
A special good morning to you all today from here at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire, UK, where a milestone will be achieved in the name of a very worthy cause, whilst enthusiasts from across the nation and overseas arrive. More on that later in this week’s Mind The Gap.
Monday: Light at the end of the data tunnel
I am not sure whether now is the absolutely right time to bamboozle the marketing departments of FX companies with full details on this matter, however it is something that has been of great interest to me for some time now.
The subject I refer to is the method by which opportunities, and subsequently budgets, are wasted en masse by smaller to medium sized retail FX firms with off-the-shelf platforms which follow the lead buying/lead churning model.
As many of those who know me well will likely concur, I have always been of the opinion that the lead churning/white label off the shelf model does not belong in a financial technology business, or in a financial markets business that relies on technology and provides its services to an online customer base.
Hence, now over 1230 MetaTrader 4 licenses are currently active, most of which are operated by small entities that have turned to FX from the affiliate marketing businesses in the Mediterranean, hence are ill-equipped to scale their businesses, and, according to one particular professional hedge fund manager I spoke to last week in England “Haven’t got a looby-loo (rhyming slang for clue – Ed) what they’re doing.”
There may well be light at the end of the tunnel, however, but it would require those smaller firms that rely on a lead churning model to move away from that race to the bottom and begin to listen to the professionals.
This may be a drum that has been beaten for many years which has largely gone unheard, even when firms of that nature have absolutely no intellectual property of their own therefore cannot exit or go public, have no long term client bases, and have to pay over $2000 in some cases to obtain a new client, when said new client only deposits $250 and then goes West after 6 months.
This Monday, however, I met two, on separate occasions, highly experienced professionals with over 20 years institutional management consultancy experience in our industry, one based in California, the other in England, who have come up with a solution to this, and who should be listened to by those wanting to make use of their existing data and not waste valuable information or client opportunities.
Both, who do not know each other, had the same ideology, that being the development of a proprietary system which enriches data and locates the correct target audience by what they are doing online, from existing information and intellectual property.
The idea is that, rather than using those passe automated marketing systems which are only designed for their nefarious producers to get access to lead lists and then fuel the lead churning fire by selling them to their customers, therefore wasting further opportunities by way of conflict of interest, these new systems have been developed by professionals who work with entities from hedge funds to government departments in gathering and streamlining client databases.
I would love to go into great detail, as I see this as a proper step forward for retail brokerages, therefore anyone who would like to know more, feel free to contact me, it will be a great pleasure to help.
Tuesday: The journey begins, and a milestone awaits
This Tuesday, I began my trip to England’s Midlands, to take my part in the Guinness World Record attempt that I have been a part of organizing for the last few months.
The main organizers, a group of motoring enthusiasts from across the UK, had caught my attention some months ago, and as a result I got involved… or should I say got in-Volvo-d.
My flight to the UK gave me enough time to prepare myself for the event, which takes place today, Sunday March 31 at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire.
As I set off, many other participants did from all corners of Europe and the rest of the world, to drive or fly to the UK.
An official Guinness World Record will be set by over 600 Volvos being driven in convoy at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, however we are expecting over 1300, of all ages, and all types.
Proceeds will be donated to Breast Cancer Care UK, and we have already raised over £7000 pre-event, and are expecting it to be over £20,000 by the end of the event.
I love motoring. Always have. Hence Tuesday’s start to the journey was one which I have been anticipating for some time. Let’s break that record!
Wednesday: Theresa May Not
What on earth is a buffoon like Theresa May doing charged with leading the government of one of the world’s most developed and civilized first world Western democracies?
England is absolutely at the forefront of global civility, its longstanding tradition of high education, diversified business – the country invented pretty much every device, manufacturing process and everyday procedure from common law to household items and from modern aviation to the internet and is right at the very top of the global hierarchy in every aspect of human development and empowerment.
It is basically a commercial and social superpower.
So why is a hearing-aid beige, insipid and downright useless tea-sipping carpet-bagger allowed to plunder billions of pounds worth of tax payers money in leading the country into the most appalling assault on democracy since the 17th century?
Theresa May, in my opinion, is not, and never has been, qualified or able to represent the British electorate that she is now letting down so badly.
Rather than occupying 10 Downing Street, she would be more at home occupying the outside lane in a mid-1990s brown Nissan Micra at 50 miles per hour in a time-warp village in Devon, oblivious to the massive traffic jam amassing behind, beige handbag on seat, packet of Typhoo in the glove box and a £4.95 Yorkshire pudding awaiting her painstaking arrival at a village pub that serves warm beer with sticks in it.
Effectively, she represents everything that is wrong about 1950s-style, out of touch, parochial British ineptitude, and should be removed from office immediately, and in my opinion prosecuted for squandering tax payer money, handing eternal sovereignty to a massive socialist bloc on the mainland of Europe which will now crack its bright red whip down over the head of London’s shining commercial powerhouse, and for going against the democratic nature of Britain’s calm and cultured society.
She has, aside from being irresponsible enough not to carry out her own electorate’s wishes according to British law, afforded absolute power to a socialist juggernaut that will never allow Britain to make its own decisions whilst taking great pleasure in passing draconian and restrictive laws at the same time as emptying the country’s coffers to throw the contents down the bottomless pits of Southern Europe’s defunct, siesta-obsessed, barren wastelands whose populace despise London’s modernity and corporate might enough to continue sleeping all afternoon and rioting at weekends until the Bank of England’s minting machines give up from overuse.
She has paved the way for the Bolivarian dictatorship that would ensue if the Labour Party, led by wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing firebrand Jeremy Corbyn, a man whose disdain for British industry, freedom, democracy and certain groups of people based on their ethnicity (myself included) would form a governmental policy which would be familiar to Venezuelan citizens, his right hand (or should I say left-hand!) man John McDonnell, a harsh Scottish trade unionist whose 1970s activism took its part in destroying British industry before Margaret Thatcher was brought in to clear up the mess following the Winter of Discontent in 1979, has already stated that he will impose capital controls if any business or its leader decides to move funds abroad in fear of a socialist coup.
Simply, the combination of Theresa May and her parochial blundering and Jeremy Corbyn with his Pro-EU, strictly socialist agenda is a nasty match.
The question is, where is Sajid Javid when we need him? Mr Javid is absolutely the right man for the job.
Urbane, sophisticated and highly experienced, he has the right credentials and qualities to represent Britain. Note I say ‘represent’ Britain, not ‘run’ Britain, as British people and British business is so highly organized and enlightened, that it is a nation that needs representing, not running.
Like most of Britain’s leaders, Mr Javid is entrepreneurial, self-motivated and has combined his abilities and qualities with a top end corporate career which has expanded to running massive businesses, largely at the top end of our industry, globally.
He has taken Tier 1 banks into new territories and established them as leaders there – exactly the sort of skill needed in diplomacy skills when leading a government.
At 49 years of age, he is a relatively young senior politician, yet he possesses the zeal, experience and skill that outstrips wet-blanket David Cameron and Bank Holiday washout Theresa May combined, both whom have absolutely no credentials.
After growing up in Stapleton Road, Bristol, which is one of the country’s most deprived and dangerous streets, Mr Javid, who learned strong work ethic from his grocers-store-owning father (rather like Mrs Thatcher did from her father in the same profession), performed extremely well at school, and then he joined Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City immediately after graduation, working mostly in South America. Aged 25, he became vice president.
He returned to London in 1997, and later joined Deutsche Bank as a director in 2000. In 2004, he became a managing director at Deutsche Bank and, the following year, global head of Emerging Markets Structuring. In 2007, he relocated to Singapore as head of Deutsche Bank’s credit trading, equity convertibles, commodities and private equity businesses in Asia, and was appointed a board member of Deutsche Bank International Limited.
He left Deutsche Bank in 2009 to pursue a career in politics. His earnings at Deutsche Bank would have been roughly £3,000,000 a year at the time he left and the Evening Standard once estimated his career change would have required him to take a 98% pay cut.
Mr Javid is a competent leader, a modern man who understands global business and how to expand the prominent resources of Britain’s economy, whilst calmly representing what is one of the most diversified and high quality populations on earth.
Step up, Mr Javid. Your country needs you.
Friday: The convoy begins!
This Friday’s work related meetings in various parts of the UK – there is a very developed FX and electronic trading industry outside London! I hear you draw a sharp breath – gave way to an open road to the middle of the country.
As I left base, with paperwork and forms completed, I began to look forward to the World Record attempt as it loomed in my windshield ahead.
In the days preceding my driving up to Leicestershire, the group – “Volvo600 Official Guinness World Record Attempt” had become even more lively than it has been over the past few months.
I have never in my whole time as a car enthusiast – which is a very long time as it dates back as long as I can remember – seen such activity and enthusiasm for a club event.
The humor, the activity, commitment and downright team spirit has been inspirational and has brought out the exact reason why I became a motoring enthusiast in the first place.
Here I sit, Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground’s fabulous open circuit in front of me, awaiting the events of the day, which commence with a photographic parade hosted by FinanceFeeds, a pre-event party and then the world record attempt itself which will take approximately two hours to complete, with over 1300 cars in procession, divided by a safety car (naturally a Volvo!) leading every 49 cars.
It has been over 20 years since I have driven at Bruntingthorpe. My last track experience there being in a then-new 1996 Volvo 850 T5-R racing car, with motorsport legend Tony Lanfranchi in the passenger seat.
A Formula 1 star, Mr Lanfranchi was a true gentleman, his calm prose still echoing in my ear via the intra-helmet communications system used that day, as I approached the very same straight where the very last VC-10 touched down for the last time, at 168mph.
Just a few years earlier, I had received partial training for my BRDC racing license at Bruntingthorpe, in a new-at-the-time General Motors Corvette ZR-1 and Hennessy tuned Dodge Viper RT/10 Venom 660.
Of course, by its nature, today’s event will be more likely to be 30mph as it is a restrained procession rather than a race, however I’m not an impetuous 20 year old petrolhead anymore!
Fond memories of the racing circuits of the North and Midlands will always remain, from a driving and social perspective.
Today is no exception. Let’s make the record books.
Wishing you all a great week ahead!