Q&A Sessions with Luis Sanchez, CEO of brokerage firm BMFN
Luis Sanchez, CEO of brokerage firm BMFN sits down for a Q&A session to discuss his personal journey into the industry and his views on where the industry is headed.
Welcome to an exciting and cutting edge new series on FinanceFeeds.
“Industry Influencers” takes a look at the entrepreneurs and companies which are making great steps in the FX and electronic trading industry in terms of innovation, creativity and leadership.
In the first part, FinanceFeeds sits down with the CEOs of this industry to find out more about them, how they got where they are today and what their thoughts are on the way that this business will move forward.
Full name: Luis Sanchez
Time with company: Since November 2014
Years in the industry: Since 2006
City of residence: Geneva, Switzerland
Tell us a little about yourself:
Hmm…..Let me see: I’m 43 years old, happily married, in love with FX as well as fashion, and will have my first son later this year.
I am Chief Executive Officer at BMFN, love my job and enjoy learning about new cultures, new technologies and meeting new people from around the world.
I come from simple roots and can say that my personality varies from being a very simple person through to very complex and sophisticated, adapting and combining emotions, good energy, positivism and passion in everything I do.
What was your journey like to get to where you are today?
It all started back in 2004 when I decided to go in a European tour (at that time I was living and working in Lima, Peru) and Geneva was included on my agenda for a 10-day stay.
During this short vacation I met a person that offered me a job (yes it was a funny and bizarre situation) and to make the story short (long version here), I accepted and stayed in Geneva.
I called my parents and told them I was not coming back to Lima at least for a while and asked them to send my suits (it’s like when you wake up one morning and go to buy bread and never come back :).
The company that I began working for had a main market presence in import and export of products from Switzerland to Latin America and vice-versa and after one year in the company I realized that this sector did not suit me the best, so I said: Switzerland??
Well, is either finance, watches or chocolates, and to be honest, the only things I know are that I like chocolates and love watches, but finance was my domain of expertise, so I started looking for a job in Finance.
It took me a while to find “my dream job” due to the cultural and language barrier, but in 2006 I had my first encounter with the FX and CFD industry.
It took me less than a week (like love at first sight) to realize that I was made for that industry and that in one of my past lives I must have worked in FX. I learned fast, studied hard and quickly adapted to the country, culturally and in terms of language.
A big step was then when I joined Dukascopy, one of the major Swiss electronic market places back on 2007 when it was a small-mid sized broker.
I started at the bottom as an office administrator and went through many the stages as I grew within the company’s different departments. Dukascopy became a Swiss Bank in 2010, while I was there and I ended my journey on October 2014 there as First Vice President.
The second and biggest step and a major achievement in my life was when I joined BMFN as the Chief Executive Officer, an excellent opportunity and challenge. I have to admit that I was afraid of this big step and the responsibility that came with it, but I felt capable of taking the risk and applied all my past experience in the FX market and agreed to the take the opportunity.
What are some of the things you enjoy outside of work
Let me say that I am blessed because I am one of the privileged people that actually enjoys my work. I have lots of fun working, but when I have some free time, I spend it 100% with my lovely wife.
We are a great team and besides being lovers, we are best friends and we share great moments. We like traveling in order to learn different cultures, in many diverse regions from Asia, to the Middle East and Latin America, but specially to beach resorts. There is nothing like sunshine and mojitos!!
We like water and winter sports, from surfing to skiing and especially enjoying all the culinary treats from around the world including Michelin Star restaurants to trying all the local street foods.
My mother taught me that you can understand the culture of a place by the type of food that is available. Thinking about it, I must have been a “Chef ” in another one of my previous lives.
One word that describes you
This is very difficult to describe in just one word, but Ill try 3 words that describes me best: Passionate, creative and warrior.
What was your biggest challenge to date that you’ve had to overcome?
Adapting to a complete new culture. I mean the Asian and Chinese one. I am spending many months a year in Asia and having to adapt and achieve small everyday things like trying to order a taxi, through to getting a haircut is a challenge for an overseas visitor.
Every day is a challenge, for example in China and everyday I have a new story to tell. Adapting to the IB’s, customers and requirements of partners, as well as the national culture is not an easy thing; it takes a lot of time, skills, dedication and constant improvement in terms of physical and mental work. So far so Good J
What are your thoughts on where the industry is heading?
This is a fast and constantly changing industry, in which nearly every day new things can appear in the business and can impact it strongly, for example when the Swiss National Bank removed the 1.20 peg on the EURCHF pair very suddenly in January 2015. I believe regulation will increase for the brokers in order to better protect the retail clients.
I also believe a more technology focused outlook is likely with more broker automation, better client offerings through this automation and cost savings for brokerages. Also, due to the competitiveness, I strongly believe the margins will get tighter as more and more brokerages and technology providers compete for business.
This is good in the sense that the customer wins longer term and makes the industry harder to get into for smaller brokers that are less experienced and under capitalized.