Movers & Shakers! Next level with Leverate’s Yael Warman
A new year, a new era of innovation, and in the fast-moving FX industry, those at the cutting edge who are not content with simply going through the motions and emulating their peers before heading home at the end of the working day will likely reveal yet more industry-changing developments. To give an insight into […]
A new year, a new era of innovation, and in the fast-moving FX industry, those at the cutting edge who are not content with simply going through the motions and emulating their peers before heading home at the end of the working day will likely reveal yet more industry-changing developments.
To give an insight into the personality, charisma and just what makes such things happen, FinanceFeeds met with some of the movers and shakers of the industry for an open and casual discussion on what the industry is likely to look like, with a splash of comedy for those who appreciate.
Yael Warman at Leverate continued hot on the heels of this topic by enthusing about the new products that can enhance the industry this year.
“This is such a dynamic industry that I would need days to answer!” enthused Ms. Warman. “I was actually talking to Maayan, our Senior Product Manager this morning and we were talking about how challenging it is to work in an industry that is constantly changing, like ours does, because you can’t stay still for a minute” she said.
“If you stop, you get run over!” – Yael Warman, Leverate
“If you stop, you get run over. So what changed this past year, you ask. Well, from the technology standpoint, we made huge advancements in the implementation of automation within our systems. We realize that the market is very competitive and brokers need to optimize their ACR (Acquisition, Conversion, Retention) in order to succeed, and automation (in our case SIRIXActive) gives them the ability to optimize the conversion processes and reduce their operating costs.”
“Regulation was a huge topic of conversation all through 2015 and will continue to be this year. EU has become much stricter in enforcement and there are new regions becoming regulated, like Russia and Israel for example. On one side we see demand for regulated solutions like LXLite in the EU, giving new brokers licensing and compliance as an extension of Leverate’s license. On the other hand we see brokers looking into new markets for expansion and Leverate is answering the demand by opening additional offices. We opened a new office in Shanghai in April of 2015 and towards the end of the year we opened one in Berlin.”
Ms. Warman concluded by looking East: “While on the topic of the Shanghai office, the unprecedented expansion of the Chinese and APAC markets is also shaping the industry. These markets are less regulated and in their infancy, so they represent a huge opportunity for brokers’ growth and our presence in the region allows us to give the proper backing to ensure their success.”
OK, so nobody is perfect. What is the biggest thing you can improve on from last year?
Ms. Warman considered this to be a perfect question for Eitan Bar-On, our COO, so she asked him! She said “Eitan has a broad view of the company and has a pulse on internal aspects as well as client interactions, so I met with him earlier this morning and I asked him what he felt was the one thing we could improve on this year and this is what he said.”
“We provide both front-end and back-office systems and as a tech provider, we always want to be innovative, but in the past few years, we have realized that when you innovate back-end systems, it’s not just about coming up with state-of-the-art technology and presenting it to the client, because every change you make, every new feature you add means they have to now re-learn the system and it sometimes goes from being helpful to being annoying, so being innovative is also about understanding what is the appropriate rate at which you should innovate and creating procedures for adoption and implementation, including training for example. We also have learned that it is important for the client to understand what the motivation behind this new product or feature was. This is what we have learned the past few years and where we are looking to improve in the year ahead” – Eitan Bar-On, COO, Leverate.
What was the funniest thing or incident that happened in the office last year? Any cringeworthy or epic fail moments?
Ms. Warman had to laugh at this, and explained that “Leverate has a very cool corporate culture. We work very hard to be the leaders in the industry, but we also know how to put on a good time and last year was full of fun stuff.”
Recalling corporate events during they year, she said “We went on a trip to the north of Israel and went berserk kayaking down the river we later had a beer contest and you can imagine how that ended. We had a cheesecake contest for Shavuot that was ‘Master-chef’ worthy, oh and probably the most memorable event was our costume party.” (FinanceFeeds CEO Andrew Saks-McLeod can concur with this, as he spent his batchelor party some years ago kayaking on – and falling into – exactly the same river!)
“Cringe moment?” recalled Ms. Warman. Let’s see….
“I’d have to say, without a doubt, this girl on our marketing team used to do this dance she called a “comfort dance” and one time she was joined by this guy from IT and they really put on a show, it was pretty hilarious (there is video evidence, but I think it should be vetoed from publication)” – Yael Warman, Leverate.
If we are sitting here in one year from now discussing what you as a company have achieved in 2016, what do you hope to be the big achievements?
Ms. Warman continued “We just had our year-end meeting last week, so this is a very opportune question. During this meeting, the entire Leverate office is gathered for a good couple of hours (yes, there is food involved) and each department VP presents a sort of “year in review” and then Kobi, our CEO, gives an overall review of the year and goes over goals for the following year. Kind of like giving us all an overview of the big picture. This ensures we are all working as a team towards the same goal.”
“Our strategy is comprised of many layers and goals, so there is no one answer to this question, but one thing that Kobi said that is a big goal for Leverate during 2016 was
“If I had to choose one goal, it would be the adoption of SIRIXActive in concept and in practice by our customers. It means that once again, Leverate set the tone for the industry and continue to lead by example the technology space of Retail FX into a new era of working for the brokers by increasing the top line while lowering the costs and doing this through innovative technology” – Kobi Gur, CEO, Leverate.
Taking a look at products, Ms. Warman concluded that “Nicc Lewis, our VP of Marketing talked about the widespread use of SIRIXActive as well, and added the adoption of mobile technology in our industry as a goal for 2016, which is a big goal since we built these solutions ahead of the demand. Of course, continuing to grow in Asia and the Eastern Block is also a goal of the company that continues from 2015 when we opened our Shanghai and Berlin offices.”
If your company morphed into a super-hero or animal in 2016; what would it be?
Leverate’s Yael Warman pushed the boundaries of this particular concept and invented a new animal- now that’s what we call innovation.
“If there was such an animal as a cheetah-chameleon, a cheeteleon, I think that would be it” she said.
“We are a technology provider and as such, therefore we need to move fast, like the cheetah, but we also need to morph and adapt to the changing industry, like a chameleon. Since we’ve been in business, our business model has significantly evolved and in 2015 and going into 2016, we are going from being a company who helps brokers get set up quickly, to a company that helps brokers succeed.”