Royal Financial Trading’s CEO Andrew Taylor talks to us about the new era of trading and what his company brings to the market.
You have a huge and enviable track record in FX going way back to 1991. Can you describe to the readers what it was like with regards to the different environment of that era and its progression to today?
Yes, I have to say at times I feel every bit of those 27 years of being in the FX markets and the grey hairs to prove that it wasn’t always the smoothest of rides, but I wouldn’t swap the adventure for anything. The environment back in those early days was still one of unchartered territory on the most part even for the Interbank market as it eventually evolved to a point where technology, information and liquidity was deemed stable enough for the next layer of participants, the wholesale market, to connect directly. This was later followed by the Retail market where it has today successfully found its place in the overall investment landscape.
The biggest leap forward I believe for the FX market was the creation of the Interbank Electronic Broker systems towards the end of the 90’s. This saw some of the world’s largest global Banks collaborate and create a centralized electronic FX trading system, which was away from the more expensive and much slower (but always good for a long lunch) voice broker trading option. This switch to online by these large FX price makers at the time literally set the course to where the FX market finds itself today.
I better stop myself talking about the good old days now otherwise we won’t make the next question!
What was the FX Retail market like in Australia when you first joined that space?
I joined the Online FX retail space back in 2003 and even then you could see that it was all well and good to be a broker that offered experience and education, however it was those companies that had a strong technical and development ability to repackage the trading systems that where essentially built for the wholesale market into a simplified and user friendly interface that a Retail client could understand and felt comfortable enough to use. The brokers that made this their mission tended to be the ones that stood above the rest.
Even to this day we are always looking for ways to improve the user experience but now its not only the retail client who we need to cater for but also the partner business, educators, affiliates, institutional clients and the list just keeps growing. This wide range of clients all have different needs to be successful in their own right so as their Broker it is important to flexible in your approach to be able to give them what they need.
I have always found Australia an interesting location in the FX world, in that it is a fantastic local mature market, along with having fantastic access to the Asian markets with a very well-respected regulator. Do you leverage this to enter what I would consider to be the biggest market in the world?
One of the major reasons that the Australian market finds itself amongst the Top Tier mature markets in the world today is because of its gradual rise to the top. It was not an overnight success but instead it had to prove that it was a self-sufficient stable location with a solid financial system that was well regulated.
These key characteristics where proven post GFC where Australia remained buoyant and saw plenty of offshore investment flow its way over the past 10 years. This genuinely put Australia on the International investment radar like never before and with one of only a handful of countries still with a AAA rating.
Savvy traders and partners prefer to mitigate ‘country risk’ by partnering with Australian regulated and operated brokers.
This is obviously a very easy discussion to have with potential clients particularly from those emerging markets within Asia. The population and interest in some of the emerging countries is huge and fortunately Australia is well regarded and trusted amongst the region to do business with.
Moving to Royal may have seemed like taking a big chance. What excited you and what motived you to join Royal?
I suppose some may view that it was taking a chance but for myself it screamed of a wonderful opportunity to join an established broker of 8 years at the time, that was already proven and highly successful in its region and had a determined vision of becoming a genuine Global brokerage.
The fact that the original founders of Royal are still intimately involved in running a successful operation showed to me how committed to the cause they really were. I very quickly found out that we shared similar values, work ethic and dedication to making Royal the company that it is today.
For those who are not aware, in my opinion Royal has always had a magnificent reputation in the Middle East. What are your global plans for this region in the upcoming year, and also globally?
We have been expanding globally outside of this region now for the past 4 years and achieving excellent growth. Our global plan remains simple, and it will continue to be built on our excellent reputation. Clients and Institutional Partners come to Royal because they know we have the right expertise, business ethics and technical set up to cater for their needs.
What vision will you be looking to illustrate to both your employees and clients of Royal for the coming year?
I really like how this question is not only aimed at Royal clients but also the Royal team. This is very important, as the environment and culture that you nurture within your company will carry through to every interaction you have with clients, colleagues and business partners.
Royal has worked hard over the past 12+ years to position itself as a top tier broker. We find ourselves in a healthy position now because the founders of Royal ensured that we did things the right way from the very start, with no short cuts. Our ethos and vision as a company has not wavered from those early days, which means everyone is clear on the objective and how, as a collective group, we hold ourselves to high standards.
We operate as a company with a positive culture that is based on solid foundations of trust and family style values. We value transparency and flexibility in business, as we know how vital this is in such a fast paced and ever-changing industry. We value our clients and spoil them. We support a $100 client as we would a $100M client, because to that client, their trading objective is just as important to them, no matter what size the investment is.
When you have this attitude embedded in a company that cares for what they do and for those around them, then its not only a combination that has bred Royal its success but it is a combination that we also know will stand the test of time.
As a multi decade veteran of the financial markets, what advice would you give to people looming to make a success of their career?
Firstly, build your knowledge base, read books/articles/forums, talk with people already in the field, get involved with industry groups, whatever way it is that you like to take in information – just gather as much intel as you can about your chosen field/career. By doing this, you will start to cut through the fluffy stuff and get to the bottom of what’s really involved. It’s at this point you can start making decisions based on your own knowledge and fact, not what some people want you to believe is the case. The next step is to understand your motivations and what it is you want to get out of it. There will be plenty of days that you may feel defeated and down, so you will need to draw on these bigger picture goals and understand that this is just part of the adventure.Thirdly, make sure your days are planned and filled with doing things that get you towards your goals. I see all too often people working on ‘urgent’ things that make them feel busy but really arnt important actions to achieving their goals. These distractions can become killers if not jumped on early.Finally, and this is one of my personal favourite quotes – ‘failure cannot live with persistence’, meaning as long as you persevere and dont give up, then you cannot fail. If you have a desire in your heart, then aim high, commit yourself and go for it.
Interview with CEO Andrew Taylor of Royal Financial www.rfxt.xom