Game Changers ISSUE #24
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE! We speak exclusively to Londons leading PR guru Angus Campbell
Note from the editor
View from the top. 03
Nominis Advisory. 04-08
Leonid Mamchenkov AlleoTech Ltd. 13-15
Private Client Advisor. 16-17
Impact tech. 09-12
Viktoris Soltesz PSP Angels. 18-19
Global FX awards
Tools For Brokers. 20-21
George Agathangelou Block.co. 24-27
Anthony Nathaniel Qobo Group. 28-29
VIEW FROM THE TOP
As the year draws to a close we are incredibly happy with all we have achieved this year, by firmly making Game Changers Magazine and GCTV and industry staple, and securing some of the biggest names in FX appearing. In this edition we continue the theme with Angus Campbell gracing the cover. Anyone who has worked on a trading floor will have been familiar with Angus, having being a regular fixture on the many different financial TV channels. Thanks to everyone contributing this year, it really feels like we have all pulled together and made Game Changers Magazine one of the pillars of our industry.
Paul ORFORD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Nominis Advisory ANGUS CAMPBELL Director of Nominis Advisory
Q I remember when I first saw you on TV around 2005. What was it like to first appear on TV in front of millions on CNBC? I headed up the sales team at Finspreads (part of IFX Markets) back then and became very irritated by watching the likes of Bloomberg and CNBC television which always featured competitor commentators so I thought “right, enough is enough, it’s time for us to get our name out there and get on these channels”. I searched around for CNBC’s telephone number and called the interviews desk, not really knowing what to expect nor what I was going to say and it was just a stroke of luck that the producer picked up. Being a salesman at the time I pitched him as I would any client and I did not expect the response I got, which was one of enthusiasm that there was someone else they’d be able to get on their market analysis rota. Before I knew it I was booked on to go into their studios for a live interview. As you can probably imagine I was more than just a little nervous, especially as it was going to be a discussion around the Bank of England’s interest rate decision that day. I had no idea what to expect from this first live studio experience and just kept wishing I wouldn’t make a fool of myself. Thankfully, they just wanted to test my quickly and it was very brief as they just asked me one question. Afterwards the producer said that all went well and so from then on television interviews became a much more regular occurrence. Q You have an incredibly long track record in this industry, how have you seen it evolve from your days at City Index until now? When I left university in 2001 I will never forget opening an account with IG Index and you were able to trade online with them, but you were sent a CD to download their software which was nothing more than a messaging application. If you wanted a
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Angus Campbell. Director at Nominis Advisory
price on the FTSE you would submit a request and after about 10-15 seconds it would say you were connected to a dealer, then another 10-15 seconds you would receive a price, which of course was about 10 points wide! From there you had about 5 seconds to either buy or sell. It would have been quicker to call the trading desk basically. Soon after a stint at a London based hedge fund, I joined Finspreads as a dealer and they were literally at the cutting edge of technology within the industry and launched the first online trading platform. It didn’t have streaming prices, but the quote requests were fast and it was something that was not seen anywhere else in financial services. I remember speaking to a friend from IG years later who mentioned that at the time they became very worried as their telephones simply stopped ringing – it was a paradigm shift. IG were quick to react though and invested heavily into technology which then gave them back their market lead and arguably is what got them to the position they are in today. The shift to online in the early noughties led to a price war, so firms like Capital Spreads and CMC disrupted the market with their tight spreads and I joined Capital Spreads, now LCG, after leaving City Index. By then many new entrants were appearing as trading FX was becoming very popular, so firms based in other European countries were passporting their services across Europe and driving dealing costs for clients even lower. It led to an explosion in extra service offerings such as charting, news, algo building tools etc all becoming the norm. I remember showing to an institutional banker one of the trading platforms and they couldn’t believe the trading solutions that retail investors were being given at the time and even today these tools are highly sophisticated. Q How was making the transition from sales to PR, did you miss the buzz of sales? Not particularly as it was a natural progression as I was running the LCG sales desk, hosting and presenting at client seminars, but at the same time writing market comment and doing television interviews. I didn’t move into a fully-fledged PR position until I left LCG and joined FxPro and even then, moving from sales to PR didn’t feel like a huge change as where the presentations used to be to retail clients before, they starting being presentations to press and investors. With the different but similar disciplines being within both a highly regulated industry and, in the case of LCG, a publicly listed
entity, there were levels of scrutiny that needed to be considered in both the roles. Q Did the sales background help you in developing your PR skills? As mentioned, the two disciplines have many similarities. With sales you are speaking to existing and potential clients pitching your services and product offering. In PR you are often pitching to journalists, which is arguably more challenging. In both cases it is important to have a good understanding of the regulations and the capacity within which you can speak, so it’s all about getting your story right, ensuring it’s something that is newsworthy and would be of interest to media. Clearly the market journalists were always hungry for good insights and having immersed myself in the financial markets, this has always been something I have enjoyed studying and talking about. Q Are there any central pillars to a solid PR campaign for an FX brokerage to adhere to? The first golden rule is to always be truthful and do not make any claims that you cannot substantiate. This is particularly important in a crisis and reacting to market developments. The best example of this was when I was at FxPro the day the SNB pulled its EUR/ CHF peg. I was taking direct calls from the journalists I know at the FT, Reuters and Bloomberg and because we had robust issues preparedness procedures in place, we could deal with their queries quickly and to their satisfaction. I do believe FxPro emerged stronger from the SNB debacle as a result. For proactive activity, anything that amplifies your communications to give it newsworthiness will help grab the attention of media, for example insights into client trading activity is often of interest to journalists. Now we see many brokers illustrate client positions in the markets which provides a really interesting picture of client behaviour. Research is also powerful and by that I don’t mean market analysis, rather in-depth research into client perceptions or industry themes. Q How much does budget play a role in a PR campaign, as opposed to fresh ideas. Does a big budget cover up a bad idea? The important thing here is to distinguish between PR and marketing activity as all too often the distinction is blurred. PR is about media relations and achieving or managing non-paid press coverage, getting into pieces of editorial press. Marketing is the paidfor element, but the two go hand-in-hand and any communications plan should include a mix of paid and non-paid activity.
Q In 2015 you joined a PR agency focusing on technology businesses, in particular blockchain, before setting up yourself. Is there any radical difference between this industry and your previous one? Being involved in blockchain technology from an early stage has been totally fascinating, whilst at the same time providing its ups and downs! It took me back to the emergence of the internet within our everyday lives and the dot-com bubble in 1999 and 2000, when suddenly everyone was setting up an email account. As mentioned, it was not long before the first online trading accounts started to emerge and just look where we are today. I couldn’t help seeing so many similarities with blockchain technology and so I was taken in by its transformational potential. As the finance sector was looking so closely at the technology and with my City background, it was easy to understand what it could do for the industry. At the same time, we’ve seen an explosion in fintech which also takes me back to when trading moved from exclusively telephone, then online, then to mobile applications. Technology is constantly evolving, so whilst it is different there are many similarities. Q Where it is a relatively new industry, can you take a different path with your PR strategy?
So budget is entirely down to what activity a broker wishes to undertake. If it’s a regular drip feed of content and market insights, then it is your PR advisor’s job to get it in front of the relevant journalists so that the client appears in the market columns. Here the PR adviser’s media relations are key and it’s always worth using experienced PRs who know the market and know the right media, so the more money spent on PR doesn’t necessarily get more coverage, especially if it’s a bad idea! In fact, in this instance a PR advisor should be honest with their client and let them know why something is not newsworthy. Often, it’s the case that brokers will build a new platform and want to shout from the roof tops, claiming that the FT should cover it on their front page. Unfortunately, the reality is very different and it is a PR’s job to advise accordingly. Worth noting there are many other outlets than just the FT.
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One size definitely doesn’t fit all and different clients require different strategies. For example, we’ve undertaken all manner of activities from media training and video production to research and white papers. The communications mix encompasses many different mediums and of course social media is a very important part of that. The main difference is the sector and even within industries that are perceived as the same, the nuances can mean different approaches are required. The best example here is cryptocurrencies and blockchain. One relies on the other, but they are not the same. You can have a blockchain without a cryptocurrency, Hyperledger for example, but you can’t have a cryptocurrency without a blockchain, the OneCoin debacle being the best example here. As a result, a client I am working with that has built their technology solution on Hyperledger, the focus is on the technology press and not crypto outlets. Q You are the founder of Nominis which offers the full solution to your clients. How does that help them? As mentioned above, different clients need different types of media exposure. Some are private companies and some are publicly listed, so the disciplines are
different, but Nominis provides both corporate (or as some people refer to it, trade) and financial communications. For public companies, connecting with investors is equally as important and so organising investor events is another key area. We also undertake content generation, media training, video production and research to inform white papers all of which is designed to provide an all-encompassing communications program with consistent messaging throughout. There is a real problem in PR and communications at the moment where journalists are inundated with competing news flow from an industry that far out numbers them, so we offer something different. The Nominis proposition for listed businesses is unique and designed to provide a much more effective relationship between client and adviser, bringing together other elements needed to maintain a listing, leading to better return on investment for the company. Q What was it like going out on your own? There’s always been a part of me that has wanted to start my own business and as I am sure anyone who has done it will tell you, it is nerve-racking! It takes time, so persistence is key and starting on your own would be even harder without a broad network. One of the most important things is never to burn any bridges and what’s interesting is that as well as working with a diverse range of businesses in multiple sectors, I am also working with contacts and past colleagues from the early days in the retail broking space. Q Do you work in coordination with your clients
marketing departments, or is it all outsourced to you. What is the model you work under? It depends on the client’s set up and again whether they are private or publicly listed. Most of Nominis’s clients are start-ups and so they are too early stage to have a dedicated in-house PR and marketing resource. We help to fill that void and work directly with CEOs, founders and senior management. But where the client is larger with their own in-house PR or marketing then that’s who we naturally work with. Again, it depends, as a public company that is approaching full year or interim results, then we are working more with the client’s CEO, CFO and their other advisers. Q Some brands have massive challenges in building their narrative, what tips can you give out to develop a coherent message? It’s important to differentiate and avoid over used terms. Journalists keep telling me that they would be multi-millionaires if they were given £1 for every time someone emails them or calls pitching the next “disruptive” product or technology solution. Consistency is also key and having a having a spokesperson who is objective and happy to provide opinion that diverges from the middle ground or current trend in news is worth its weight in gold as the media like to have insights from experienced professionals. Q Is there a checklist that CEOs should look for when hiring a PR agency? They should use an agency that is able to demonstrate
return on investment and provide more than simply media coverage. A CEO or founding entrepreneur will always believe that their product or service is the best and most newsworthy item of the day and whilst this is often the case, it is important to be realistic with expectations of what is achievable from a media point of view. Clients value the advice provided by agencies as much as the press coverage they get, as the communication flow to and from journalists can help inform business strategy as well as the corporate messaging. This is why small niche and boutique agencies are popular amongst many business leaders as they know they are going to be served by a senior member of the team that pitched to them, rather than meeting the agency’s directors and then being passed onto a totally different team once engaged.
looking to take the step and open their own brand?
Q You are now viewed as an industry veteran, what advice could you pass on to the young Angus?
Q What’s the best way for readers to find out more about your services?
Build your network as soon as you can and keep building it. Always be honest in your advice and don’t be afraid to advise a client if something that they want to communicate isn’t newsworthy. As mentioned before, never burn your bridges, as you never know when you may need to cross back over them again.
The website is https://www.nominis.co/ (NB not “.com”, just “.co”). I am also accessible via LinkedIn and Twitter @AngusJMCampbell, but I’m afraid I don’t really engage on Facebook! We do of course have other information and collateral that we can share with people if they get in touch. There’s never any harm in having a discussion in the first instance, you never know where it might lead.
Q What advice would you pass on to readers
I didn’t appreciate just how easy it is to set up your own business. Literally, within days I had decided on a company name (with the help of my wife!), incorporated the business, bought the URL, set up the website and opened a business bank account. Differentiation is important, demonstrate where you can add value. It often pays to align your interests with your clients by being flexible with your pricing as they will value your services more if you also benefit from their success as a business. If people have an itch to scratch and have always wanted to set up themselves, the only way you’ll do it is to take the plunge. However, do not underestimate how hard getting things to a viable position is!
Impact Tech Ltd SOTERIS CHARALAMBOUS Head of Content at Impact Tech Ltd
What’s on your Forex CRM checklist? Impact CRM’s AI-driven tools naturally grab the most attention because of the advantages they offer brokerages, but the benefits of the many other integrations shouldn’t be overlooked
There is so much attention focused on artificial intelligence (AI) in business today and rightly so. The easiest way to bring the benefits of AI technology to a brokerage is via a CRM. It’s a game changer for brokers and offers a genuine advantage for early adopters. AI technology is essential for delivering industry leading Customer Experience (CX). Enhanced CX enables a brokerage to offer a personalized customer journey and improve KPIs like increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction, decreasing Cost Per Lead (CPL), Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and the Churn Rate. The ability to take control of the customer journey can’t be overstated and Impact CRM’s AI-driven tools change the way brokers interact with their customers. With the spotlight on the many benefits this cutting-edge technology offers it sometimes comes as a surprise how many other integrations are available or built into such innovative software.
Built-in telephony with Impact Telecom All a broker’s business communication needs are included and tracked in Impact CRM with Impact Telecom. It gives your business quality telephony at highly competitive call rates. The system requires no additional hardware and can be set up in no time. The cloud-based PBX platform is available free of charge and is also available as a stand-alone solution. With Impact Telecom incoming calls are automatically matched to a customer’s CRM records, displaying the appropriate Contact or Account record to the call operator. This gives immediate visibility of the caller’s details and their account history. CRM integration is compatible with most VoIP software services using our proprietary APIs. When an incoming telephone call is received the system searches the CRM across the telephone fields to find a match. When a match it found it displays the relevant screen to the user along with all their recent interaction information. “It really makes no sense for any brokerage today to still be paying for their telephony system,” said Anthony Papaevagorou, Head of Sales at ImpacTech. “AI-driven Impact CRM and our cloud-based PBX technology Impact Telecom offers everything modern brokerages need and so much more.” “The value from the data in every phone conversation increases because it is combined with data from all the other channels that connect to Impact CRM.” Most interactions between a customer and a brokerage take place over the phone. Many brokerages record and store these interactions for training purposes and in compliance to regulations. However, these interactions can also be used as inputs to produce valuable insights and reduce manual analysis work. Impact CRM makes it is possible to monitor all phone interactions. It transcribes calls to text and uses Machine Learning to infer compliance violations, predict issues affecting the company and the sentiment of the call. As a result, a brokerage can use the business intelligence provided in collaboration with the other modules to enhance CX and increase customer satisfaction.
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Easy integration with MT4 and MT5 Impact CRM integrates easily with MT4/MT5 and has real-time 2-way syncing with the trading platforms. The scalable API architecture and advanced webhooks makes integration with all your existing applications hasslefree and enables your business to leverage maximum value from your customer data. Impact CRMâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real-time reporting delivers more than any other Forex CRM and can bring up reports for the day, the week, month or year. It pulls together leads and revenue reports as well as trading data in real-time. Additionally, deposits/withdrawals data and payment records in relation to transactions can be crossed, analysed and matched with marketing activities to ensure your team has all the information they need to deliver the best customer experience.
Automated lead and customer management tools With Impact CRM your best leads get allocated to the agent most suited to convert them into a customer. There is no chance of your sales team tripping over each other as every lead is automatically segmented based on the marketing channel it came through and language used. The Dynamic Lead Scoring feature enables your business to contact the most qualified leads because of its high prediction accuracy. For example, one business that processes around 300,000 leads per month using the tool reports 86.7% prediction accuracy for lead to conversion. The Churn Prediction feature gives the retention team a huge advantage in their retention efforts and ability to reduce churn rate. By processing and analysing huge data sets it identifies the common behaviour patterns in customers that follow a loss of confidence in the brand. It also accurately identifies the interactions that undermine the trust between your broker and the customer.
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Single screen customer journey profile With Impact CRM, agents access all the information they need about an individual customer from a single screen. Personal details including customer lifetime value (CLV), verification status, ID documents, bank details, transactions and accounts are visible from the same screen. All account activity is displayed in context along with previous communications to help the agent get the most out of every customer interaction. Additionally, customer input fields in Impact CRM are fully self-customisable and follow a rule-based flow that creates a frictionless onboarding experience for customers while meeting the KYC and regulatory requirements of the territory. Tracking the progress of every customer’s KYC process and AML is easy and regulatory auditing is simplified with automated notifications when ID documents are due for renewal. Efficient and hassle-free document management makes keeping track of customer documentation easier. Impact CRM translates documents into the user language and facilitates compliance management by setting alerts for when identification documents need to be updated. A historical record of customer documents is kept on the system to meet auditing requirements.
Intelligent global payment gateway Impact PSP also integrates effortlessly with Impact CRM to provide your business with payment services that cover the world. It’s the ideal payment gateway for any Forex broker with over 300 payment providers. Payment options offered to customers are geographically determined and prioritised by the lowest fee to your business. The sophisticated reporting system gives your business a real-time overview of payment flows and sends instant notifications regarding payment issues or delays. It also generates custom reports on currency, payments and gateway. For businesses that have multiple brokerages operating around the world the multi-tenant configuration offered by Impact CRM is highly beneficial. Impact CRM can support all your businesses and service multiple portals from the same platform and cater for each of their unique business needs. Each tenant is a separate, self-contained configuration for each company with its own users, groups and roles and each tenancy can be customised according to the specific needs of the business. CEOs have a global picture of operations and a fully customised dashboard that displays all business-critical information. The manager dashboards provide access to the data they need to analyse their team’s performance and the operations they oversee including sales, marketing, conversion, retention, dealer and customer support. Meanwhile, every team member’s access is pre-defined to give them all the information they need to perform their role from a single interface while managing access to sensitive data. “We are committed to using technology to help our customers become more agile and increase their productivity with new features added all the time. Our overarching goal is to create business applications that are simple to use, affordable and highly effective,” added Papaevagorou. “And unlike other CRMs used by brokers, Impact CRM is offered at a flat fee with no hidden commissions or revenue share obligations.”
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Welcome to the cloud LEONID MAMCHENKOV Director of AlleoTech Ltd
Q Hey Leonid. It’s been a while since we spoke last. What’s that I hear about you starting a new company? Hey Paul. Yeah, it’s only been just over a year, but it feels like forever - one of the side effects of being a startup founder. Indeed, I’ve left my previous company back in February, and was working on a new one. We’ve incorporated AlleoTech Ltd in July and have recently celebrated the first mini-birthday - 3 month old. Q So what’s AlleoTech is all about? We are an IT infrastructure company. Q Do you mean servers and such? Yes, servers too, but we are a bit more than that. We help businesses with their IT infrastructure, be that an on-premise collection of servers, networks, and so on, or third-party hosting, or their cloud setup.
Leonid Mamchenkov Director of AlleoTech Ltd
organization that is not primarily dealing with technology. We can help save time and money with our expertise.
Q And why would any company need you guys? There are several reasons. Firstly, system administrators and DevOps engineers - those people who usually deal with IT infrastructure - are few and far apart. It is extremely difficult to find them, hire them, and keep them. They are also quite expensive. And on top of that, most companies don’t really have enough workload to utilize a full-time engineer. We already have a team of SysAdmins and DevOps engineers that we can share. Secondly, IT infrastructure, although vital for any business, is rarely a priority. IT managers and departments are usually trying to deal with e mergencies and don’t have the time or people to focus on their longer-term infrastructure needs. That’s where we come in and lend a helping hand. Thirdly, technology is moving fast and it’s difficult to keep up with, especially for people within an
Q Can you give me an example or two of how this works? Of course. We already have several clients in a variety of industries - from retail and maritime to marketing and financial services. Without naming any names (for now), here are a couple of things that we’ve done so far. First, a very technically capable company providing payment services, needed some help with their Amazon AWS cloud setup. Somebody else has done the initial work for them, but then they’ve decided to take over and do things in house. It turned out that Amazon AWS, as amazing as it is, is not very easy to navigate and figure out from the start. They were having a variety of issues - overwhelming costs, administrative complexity, performance and flexibility issues. We’ve come in just a few weeks ago and
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Command & Control Your IT Infrastructure IT Consulting Cloud Hosting System Adminstration IT Infrastructure Audit
+357 25 106 041
worked with their technical team. We’ve done the audit of their setup and discussed the issues with their business stakeholders. We then managed to significantly decrease their monthly bill, simplified the infrastructure and provided some training for their technical guys. As a result, they have a lot more confidence going forward, they don’t overpay, and they know that we are just a phone call away in case they need help. Second, a company with a lot of its own hardware, software, and services, was looking at moving all or parts of their setup to the cloud. We’ve helped them audit and document their current situation, suggested the shorter and easier roadmap, and helped them with some of the Amazon AWS services that they weren’t very familiar with. The project is still in progress, but they were quite happy with the smaller proof of concept that we did, and are now actively moving their infrastructure to the cloud. Q It looks like more and more companies are moving to the cloud. Is this true? And if so, what are the primary reasons for that? It is indeed true. Even though cloud computing has been around for more than a decade, it’s one of those things that took a while to adopt. Cloud services these days are much more mature than they were even five years ago. They provide solutions to a much wider range of problems. And the prices have decreased significantly. On top of that, it’s not just cloud computing that is changing. It’s the world in general. It is getting faster and broader. Businesses have to adopt and react to a larger range of challenges than ever before, while at the same time, with lesser budgets and shorter deadlines. Cloud computing helps a lot with technological issues. It’s global, fast, scalable, and affordable. Gone are the times when you need to buy or book servers in advance just because you are planning a marketing campaign that will bring more traffic to your website. With proper cloud hosting setup, your site can automatically scale to as many or as few servers as is necessary right now. And you’ll pay the hourly rate of only those servers that you use. The same goes for email servers, databases, storage, bandwidth, and pretty much any other resource or service. Q If cloud computing is so great, why doesn’t everyone use it? What are some of the challenges with moving to the cloud?
It’s a great question! Every major shift in technology raised similar questions. And the answers often seem to be the same. Firstly, irrelevant of how great a new technology is, the biggest problem with it is that it’s new. It takes time to learn and understand it, play around with it, and find ways to apply it to a particular project or organization. Cloud computing is not an exception here. There are several vendors, each with its own offerings, pricing, limitations, documentation, etc. Amazon AWS alone offers more than 180 cloud services, many of which consist of several components. It’ll take more than a day just to read through the names and brief descriptions of each, let alone figure out how they work, how they connect, and how to apply them. Secondly, both individuals and organizations are naturally resisting change. It often seems easier to just work with what you have and know already. Many businesses invested large amounts of money and time into hardware, software, and expertise. Moving to the cloud often sounds like abandoning all that and starting anew. Thirdly, as I’ve already mentioned before, time. Even those people and companies that do want to move to the cloud, never have the time to do so. More urgent things get in the way, priorities shift, people come and go, and so on. These are all familiar and, more importantly, solvable problems. But it takes will, time, and effort. Q Well, thanks for that, Leonid. I think I understand the benefits and challenges of moving to the cloud a lot better now. What are the best ways for our readers to get in touch with you, learn more, and possibly work together? No problem at all. I’m glad I could clarify some of it for you. As an IT infrastructure startup, we are very enthusiastic (and opinionated) about all things technology, and cloud in particular. I’d love to chat more with you or any of your readers. You can find us online in all the usual places - the website (https://alleo.tech) where we run a frequently updated blog and on social media (@alleotech). We are also attending all, or almost all technology events in Cyprus, from large conferences and forums to small meetups and gatherings. Catch up with us at any of those events and we’ll find a time and place to talk. Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure, as always.
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Maria Iacob PRIVATE CLIENT ADVISOR
Q You came from an engineering background; how did you start in FX. That’s quite a difference? The switch to fx was a happy coincidence. At the time, my specialty was indeed programming, but I studied accounting in high school and university as well. Having previously worked in customer support, I was invited for an interview with one of the top fx firms in Cyprus by a friend working in the industry. At the end of the interview, I said ‘Look, I don’t know much about short term trading, but I’m willing to learn. All I need is a chance to prove myself.’ And so I worked very hard every single day of more than 6 years to reward the people who believed in me.
Q You now work in wealth management. Why did you make the transition into this part of the financial industry? In fx I helped clients achieve their short-term goals. However, during our conversations I found that many of them saw intraday trading not only as a potential source of income, but also as a mean to achieve their long-term plans. Contracts For Difference (CFD) are complex products carrying a high degree of risk, however they attract a large number of inexperienced investors that end up losing their lifetime savings because there’s practically a total lack of specialist financial advice. It’s like trying to cross a busy street whilst being blindfolded – you know where you are, you know where you want to go, but you don’t know how to get there. In my experience, people walk into the world of money blindfolded. And that’s something I’m looking to change.
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Maria Iacob Private Client Advisor
Q Wealth management has always struck me as a male dominated industry. Is this the case? It appears to be a dry industry, is that the case? Wealth management has always been a male dominated industry for the simple fact that we used to live in a patriarchy. The man was the one providing for the family, therefore the financial decisions rested with him. As the paradigm shifted towards women taking control over their future, building careers and becoming financially independent, there’s been an increase in the number of female executives, female financial advisers. For example, according to a study published by S&P Global Market Intelligence mid-October, female CFOs working in Russell 3000 companies brought in $1.8 trillion more than their male predecessors. One of the reasons is that they’re held to higher standards thus generating outstanding results.
If you’re passionate about working in an analytical, highly competitive and ever-changing environment, if you’re passionate about helping people build unique solutions to complex financial needs, then it’s the perfect industry to work in. Q If I am looking for a wealth manager, what should be a checklist of what I need to see? If you’re looking for a wealth manager it’s recommended you run your own due diligence on the adviser’s background – experience, authorizations and qualifications in the field, along with their work experience. If they’re representing a specific company, its well worth looking into the company’s regulation and reputation. A good place to start is the company’s website. Continue with the financial regulators’ website to find the type of services the firm is authorized to provide, the jurisdictions they’re allowed to work in and check for complaints. In my opinion, a professional wealth manager will always discuss the regulatory aspect with their clients as a means of enhanced investor protection, transparency and fairness.
Q Is there a specific client profile that will use your services? The people that benefit the most from my help are international citizens, citizens of the world, if you like. Basically, people who pursued careers across the globe and, as a result, accumulated assets (cash, properties, investments, pensions) in multiple jurisdictions and are looking to optimize their structuring and returns.
Q How does your marketing message work? Is it based on safety & stability or another message? My marketing message isn’t based on any of these two. My role is simply to give people the details they need to make an informed decision. I help people navigate the options available to them and based on their needs and priorities, identify the solutions which are right for them. Best Regards, Maria Iacob Mob: 9916 7964 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Q Can you give us a breakdown on why you’re so different to others? In the 90’s my family decided to invest in a very popular local scheme. A couple of months later the scheme went bankrupt, my family lost all of their savings and that was my first encounter with the lack of investment advice. Painful and bitter. That’s what fuels my vision to protect people from such crippling experiences. I see my clients like family and I’m relentless in protecting their interests, doing right by them. Furthermore, I differentiate myself through technical knowledge and the ability to design a plan to its finest details. If I come across something I’m not aware of, I have the exceptional ability to learn and implement new knowledge immediately. I’m a firm believer that if there’s a will to be outstanding, there’s definitely a way. It’s not my job, it’s just who I am.
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PSP Angels VIKTORIA SOLTESZ Founder of PSP Angels
Q What motivated you to pursue a career in accountancy? I was always a very technical person and I loved maths from young age. I used to live in England whereby I was working for the biggest accounting software provider company at the time, SAGE, so they offered free training on accounting and I had the experience to talk to real company owners about their real problem with finances. So when I moved to Cyprus, 11 years ago, when the offshore culture was booming, setting up my own consultancy was an obvious path to enter. Q How was it making the transition from the shipping industry to the derivative trading industry? I had my private tax and finance consultancy parallel with my employment in shipping, so during this time, I was dealing with a lot of different clients from different industries. We are now specialized in payments and banking, which is not strictly related to trading - we are helping companies from every industry. Q You are now based in Malta, is there a lot of difference between the working practices of Malta and Cyprus?
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There are several differences in terms of business. “Malta smells like business” they say, and its true: everyone has the start-up mind and enthusiasm to make it work. There are several different meetups, business gatherings and opportunity for networking. Great ideas fly around in every conversation. Malta’s government is also very innovative and offer a lot of help to companies, which further helps businesses to thrive. Cyprus has a more traditional attitude towards business and innovation. Both islands have their own individual benefits of course. Q If the readers are not aware you are the founder of PSP Angels. Why did you start this? During my 11 years of private consultancy I have been dealing with several high risk clients and start-up companies, and the first issue which I had to resolve was always about the banks and the payments: “the funds got stuck in the payment service provider’s account, the bank closed the account out of the blue, banking fees are extremely high...” and so and so forth. Plus, in this industry everything is changing very quickly so the merchants were always having nightmares keeping up. We have created PSP Angels 2 years ago, to help these merchants save time and the nerve of dealing with all this. We screen the market to see what is available out there at the moment, by partnering up with different payment service providers, banks and acquirers.
Once the clients contact us, we understand their business and requirements and apply on behalf of them with all the providers who offer the relevant service and the business is within their risk appetite. We collect all the offers and let the client make an informative decision where to keep their money. What’s better - this search for the merchants is free. Q What tips would you give to others starting out on their own? Unfortunately I saw more companies fail than fly, so I would recommend to have a very solid plan before starting anything. Many companies start their operation without understanding every detail. Just for instance - 90% of the business plans which I have seen excluded card processing fees completely.
Q What separates PSP Angels from its peers? We are trying to find a solution for every merchant regardless the size and business activities. We are open and transparent, and very responsive. Normally companies would go to a cashier for payment processing recommendations - we believe this could be a mistake, as any technology provider can only recommend the solutions which they have already integrated with, therefore many solutions are excluded. Their goal is not to screen the market but to lock the company in with their preferred provider and get the client pay for their fees as an extra on top of the processing fees. The payment industry is changing all the time - so whichever solution is perfect for you today might not be good in 6 months’ time. We understand the market inside out and we can recommend additional services to the business - integrating crypocurrency payments, setting up fraud prevention, chargeback solutions, payment insurance, etc. based on the business’ individual needs. Q How easy is it to use your service? One thing that often holds me back using a new provider is the extra leg work for no net gain. How can you help? Very easy. We have a chat with the business to understand the requirements and ask them to give us the basic information about the company, so we can start the free search. Instead of filling numerous
Viktoris Soltesz Founder of PSP Angels
application forms with several providers and banks, in all different shape and form, we do everything – for free. Q What’s the best way to reach out to you, to have a brief chat about your services? Visit our website at www.pspangels.com for our phone numbers or email us at email@example.com
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Tools For Brokers. BAIANA KASHAEVA Regional Operational Director at Tools For Brokers
ptimization. And, of course, after a summer break people can be more enthusiastic and open to new ideas, and solving their problems with fresh innovation. Autumn is the time when the TFB team work harder than ever on all fronts. Developers concentrate on new crafting new software; sales and client relationship managers collaborate with each other across all offices; we frequently run internal meetings to analyze incumbent business strategies of clients in order to improve our approach and to determine how we can enhance our solutions. Within the organization, our sales people set the direction of product development, which mainly happens at this time of the year.
Baiana Kashaeva Regional Operational Director at Tools For Brokers
When I’m asked which is my favorite time of the year, I tell people that it’s autumn. It’s not just because I still consider the first of September as being the beginning of the year, but because I see it as the most important and productive season for numerous reasons. The first and very obvious one is that people are coming back from summer holidays, and so their time is often devoted to internal changes and o
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Secondly, from my own experience over the past 6 years, I’ve discovered that if you don’t have proper settlements with prospects in Q4, you won’t be included in their agenda come the new year. It’s very rare that a company will change software provider right after the initial pitch. When we speak about such complex technology as bridge, that involves the interaction between not only several departments inside organization, but rather the cooperation of 2-3 counter-parties - it’s no longer about simply changing one product for another. It’s vital change, akin to a “heart surgery” for the business, and I doubt that key decision-makers are only likely to decide to proceed with such actions so quickly in case of emergency. This is why it’s so essential to start working on your pipeline now, rather than after the new year. The third reason is that various industry events across Europe, Asia and the Middle East take place during the autumn, where I always have a fantastic time catching up on news and changes of partners and customers, as well as sharing our own news. In October our team spent time in Dubai for a business trip, taking the time to also attend the local expo, which was the second time that we’d been there. It was great to see even more of our customers and partners in attendance this year!
In November we also attended the London Summit. Going to London is a breath of fresh air in itself, but the city also has such a vibrant energy about it that no matter where I come back to after it (to Russia or to Cyprus), I am always very inspired and motivated. I regard the London Summit as the key time and place to demonstrate what you’ve been doing and working on throughout the entire year. I love telling TFB’s story at these events, and how exactly we’ve managed to bring our ideas to the industry, and the struggles we’ve had to overcome on our journey. From one perspective, getting innovative solutions to a market where you’ve been working for 10 years and have a certain reputation and a great number of customers, might seem an easy task, but it’s not as simple as it might be to capture potential customers’ attention. The reality is that established reputation can serve your best and worst interests simultaneously. And I can explain how. For many years TFB was known as a plugin provider with the biggest products line in the market. Everyone knew that if you needed a tool or custom development, you’d better ask TFB directly, as in 99% of cases they have it ready-made or can develop it from scratch. Our global expansion initially started with profit gained from plugins and add-ons. And at the same time, vast, multilateral experience helped us to notice and understand new problems with which brokers have to deal on a daily basis.
Changes in overall perception can’t happen within a day, and when I look at the past few years, I see that a systematic approach, clear vision and will to stay adaptive, have been the key elements in the evolution of our business. We listen to our customers when they say that any feature is no longer convenient or necessary, or that they want their systems to work in one particular way. But instead of blind trust we spend a lot of time to get to the core of the issue, to find out the root of our customers’ problems. We devote plenty of time to self-education, by recreating full action cycles actions and the daily operations of brokers’ staff who use our systems. This is the best way for us to figure out what problems need solving and where these problems are coming from. It took us two years to change the questions asked us from “what are the tools you provide?” to “what was your strategy to compete with established brands?” (The answer to this is probably best saved for another discussion!) These are the questions that businesses of all sizes are asking us, and the answers to these have been key to our success!
That’s where our new ideas come from. All of our top products are developed with one main purpose - to solve the current problems of customers related to liquidity connection, aggregation and operational risk management. The most widely-known issue when working with an aggregating engine is that you have to check on your positions in relation to several places, including platform and liquidity providers. Many companies still do this manually, transferring the data to excel files and making all calculations there. These actions are frequently repeated, and flagged a problem that we wanted to solve. However, when we brought these new systems to the market we had to deal with our own established reputation as plugin provider. Customers see companies as able to provide just one sophisticated solution rather than many, and that multiple models can’t be mixed to the advantage of customers themselves.
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GLOBAL FOREX AWARDS. Game Changers Magazine were incredibly happy to attend the Global Forex Awards in Limassol in October. Sadly, we did not win our award, however our sponsor for Prime Time on GCTV, Inflyx won â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Best Global Liquidity Providerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, so it was great to see them be recognised. It was great to attend as it is one of the few awards ceremonies that is free to enter, and completely democratic. For more information, contact Archie via the website globalforexawards.com
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Block.co GEORGE AGATHANGELOU CMO at Block.co
Q Hello George, welcome back to Game Changers. It has been a long time since your last appearance. George, you must be one of the most controversial personas in the financial industry. With a background in Economics, you’ve dealt with FX for quite a lot of years! You were in, you were out and have decided you can do without! But first things first. What got you in the FX in the first place? Having studied Economics and Business Administration, I was trained to believe that investment and trading could provide an additional revenue stream to individuals and had the desire to enter the investment services industry. I guess that the timing was right back then, because it was at a time when the Forex industry was booming in Cyprus and retail forex brokerages just started to spread like mushrooms on the island. Q And how has this evolved? Looking back today, we have witnessed a rapid development of the industry, with many bumps and challenges along the way, mostly deriving from excessive regulations, as a result of the behavior of dishonest players in the market. Q What were your feelings around this industry over the years? I feel that this industry has transformed a lot over the years. Many lessons have been learned both by market participants and regulators and still many problems are left to be solved, especially when it comes to fair market practices and corporate social responsibility. Q What changed during the past 10 years? Following the first Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) that came into force on 1st November 2007, that replaced and expanded upon the Investment Services Directive, the European Commission decided to review the MiFID framework and on 20 October, 2011, published proposals for (i) a revised Directive (MiFID II) and (ii) a new Regulation (MiFIR). On 15 April 2014, the Council of the European Union adopted the final texts of MiFID II and MiFIR (Level 1 texts). These texts intended to address several shortcomings of the initial MiFID framework as well as some sources of systemic risk which became apparent during
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the financial crisis. Since entry into force of MIFID II the 2nd July of 2014, ESMA published more than 100 papers (delegated directives, delegated regulations, RTS, ITS, guidelines…) on MiFID II/MiFIR topics to ensure a proper implementation across Europe. As from compliance deadline (1st of January 2018), ESMA issued more than 10 guidelines and other related MiFID II documents, which compel MiFID entities to perform ongoing monitoring on new requirements. These guidelines addressed marketing materials used, KYC on boarding procedures, remuneration policies and other elements, to strengthen the protection of investors by introducing new requirements and reinforcing existing ones. Q Can you tell the readers what made you switch industries from Finance to Tech? Let’s just say that I felt that my time in the Finance Industry had come to an end, and that I had much more to offer by being in the technological innovation forefront, and by participating in Block.co, with the noble mission of combating fraud and corruption.
Q How big is the problem with fraud? Massive funds and resources are spent every year to
track down forged documentation. In 2016 Higher Education Degree Data check (HEDD) report, an investigation found that 44% of 5,500 considered CVs had discrepancies in education with 10% of those having false grades. Moreover, a report by the WENR (World Education News and Reviews) reveals that in 2010 an alarming situation was reported in China, with “90 percent of recommendation letters from Chinese students were fake, 70 percent of college application essays were not written by the students, and half of all high school transcripts were falsified.” Lastly, we notice a recurring trend when it comes to credentials fraud. Falsifying credentials in order to land a job is no small offence, anymore. In Hong Kong, where fake credentials are increasingly common, a woman presented fake qualifications to land an executive-level marketing job. When her scam was uncovered, the woman was arrested and charged with fraud. Q What makes Block.co different? What is Block.co Unique Selling Point? The University of Nicosia acknowledged the problem for when it comes to forged credentials and the vulnerability of certification documents. We are a company powered by the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, the global leader in Blockchain education and research and the first globally to issue academic diplomas on the Blockchain as early as 2014. At Block.co we have developed a platform which enables organizations like yours to securely issue certificates by leveraging Blockchain technology, thus making them tamper-proof and instantly and independently verifiable. A simple to use by
anyone product, with no smart contracts, private keys or tokens involved in the process. Our solution has already been battle tested over the last 5 years. We abide by the principles of Resiliency, Open Access and Simplicity – Ease of Use. Block.co unique selling point is that there is no dependency on a single vendor. Publishing and validating protocol are open-source and can be easily viewed on GitHub. We are securing all our certificates on the most secure blockchain to date, the Bitcoin Blockchain. There are no apps required, no wallets, no downloads or updates. Our whole solution is embedded within a PDF file. Recipients of academic certificates can manage, share or even duplicate the PDF at will. We chose the PDF format as it is both human and machine readable. These PDFs can be validated by anyone on the Bitcoin Blockchain very easily, by uploading the file on one of our online validators. The issuer or publisher of the certificate can easily revoke or edit these certificates, while there is also an option for certificates expiration. As blockchain allows the addition of new entries only, any re-issues, revocation will leave behind a complete audit trail of actions. We designed our solution with ease of use in mind. Anyone capable of using a PC can use our solution, without specific knowledge on blockchain technology, private keys and so on. Q How big is the market that Block.co is targeting? Is your product international? Does it apply to all markets? Block.co is currently tapping into a global, billiondollar market. It is estimated that there are more than 10,000 universities around the world, and all of them can be a possible client for us. Moreover,
since we serve many industries besides academia, we aspire to make block.co technology the standard for when it comes to issuing self-verifiable certificates using Open Source Code, Open Standards, and the world’s most secure computer network, the Bitcoin Blockchain. Q Can your product be used in the financial sector? Indeed, our product may find possible use cases in the financial sector and especially when it comes to certificates provided by regulators, time-stamped reports provided by regulated entities, as well as post-trade reporting mechanisms that can be made immutable and secure by anchoring them on an Open, Public Blockchain such as Bitcoin. We have already provided our application form to the Cyprus Innovation Hub and look forward to helping the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission adopt innovative technologies such as blockchain technology, when it comes to combating fraud and corruption in the industry. Q Cyprus is not renowned for being a fast adopter of new technologies. How are you planning to change that? Block.co’s technology was developed at the Institute for the Future (IFF). The IFF is a cross-disciplinary
research institute at the University of Nicosia (UNIC) founded to explore the hypothesis that exponential technologies will cause rapidly accelerating societal change over the coming decades. The goal of the IFF is to push students, faculty (at our University and others), policymakers and business leaders to prepare for these changes and aim for societally beneficial outcomes. Our faculty shared their expertise and have joined forces with the Cyprus government own teams in order to draft the Cyprus Blockchain National Strategy. The main pillars of the National Strategy are the preparation of a legislative framework and the implementation of pilot use cases for both public sector and the financial sector. This legislative framework will consider the European Parliament resolution of October 2018 and will be based on European principles, technology neutrality, promoting innovation so that the private and public sectors can work together effectively and develop successful applications. The strategy has a goal to bring Cyprus among the first countries to regulate aspects of Decentralized Ledger Technologies in order to create a truly attractive environment, in parallel with all the other factors that make Cyprus an attractive destination for investment and business. Q What are the main obstacles that Block.co is facing? I believe the main challenges, besides the changes required in the regulatory framework and the coordination and adoption of international technical standards, is the people’s understanding of blockchain technology and its applications. Very often, people have the wrong idea and are prejudiced when they hear the word Bitcoin, relating it to illegal activities based on the mainstream media rhetoric. I believe that the main challenge will be to educate people a bout the potential of these technologies besides remittances and storing value, as people are afraid of change, whatever that change may be. It’s like history is repeating itself, like in the early days of the Internet, when everyone associated the Internet with gambling, hackers and adult content. In today’s world, tech giants that have taken over the internet like Facebook and Google didn’t even exist when I was younger, and I believe the same will occur in the future. Early adopters and innovators in this space will reap the most benefits out of these emerging technologies. Q What’s next on the agenda for George Agathangelou?
George Agathangelou CMO at Block.co
Well, I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really say what the future will bring. What I know is that the present is indeed a gift. I feel that I have found my purpose in life, doing something that I love, something that the world really needs, that I can be paid for and something that am very passionate about and that I can add value to, the Bitcoin Blockchain . Q How do you see the future of the FX industry? It is expected that a large percentage of the smaller brokerages in Cyprus, will have to close shop, as they cannot compete with giants in the industry that have both the capital and human resources to deal with the new regulatory burden. Q Any advice for the newcomers? Study, research, learn as much as you can and get to meet as many people from your industry as possible. Cultivate skills, seek mentors and always stay abreast of your industry. If you have not found what you love to do, this will equip you with the necessary insights, so when it does come by you, you will definitely know what it is so that you can chase your dreams. Q How can the readers contact you for more information? Readers can learn more about us through our website https://block.co/ or through our various social media channels on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube and Medium.
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Qobo Group ANTHONY NATHANIEL Founder of Qobo Group
We recently had you on GCTV where we discussed Qobrix, the real estate focused CRM. Q Why make a specific CRM for the real estate industry? So real estate is an area where we saw a need for multi-system synergy. Qobrix was built primarily to assist both property developers and real estate agents capture more opportunities for growth and profitability by focusing on customer acquisition and service. It is a robust and innovative CRM system with integrated portals and multiple features and functionalities. It was designed this way to enable businesses operating in the real estate sector to streamline complex operational workflows, increase operational efficiencies, and maximize customer exposure through several digital channels. Q Is it specific to certain aspects of real estate or is it a universal tool? Qobrix is probably the most complete and innovative real-estate CRM system in the market today. Saying that, we have designed it to address not only the idiosyncrasies of the real estate sector as a whole, but also those of other industries. In fact, it is also used by clients in the
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financial, medical, and retail sectors. Our goal going forward remains making Qobrix easy enough for any company to be able to adjust our software in a way that adapts it to their specific needs, in exactly the way they want. We also intend for it to stay user-friendly so that any person can work our CRM system, irrespective of the industry in which they operate. Q Does this help both client and the real estate organisation who choose to use it? Yes, Qobrix has been designed with both the real estate organisation and the end-customer in mind, from the moment a lead is created until well into the after-sales lifecycle. Aside from having the ability to effectively manage opportunities, generate marketing collateral and property brochures, upload and centralise client information and documentation, or even analyse what types of properties are in demand, we have made it the go-to platform for an organisation in terms of managing customer interactions, simplifying communications between the client, real estate agent or property developer. The Qobrix CRM System can also be seamlessly integrated with an organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website, so that any changes made to prices, images or data regarding a property are then automatically reflected on the website.
Q Is it easy to integrate to my current sales process in my organisation?
Q Is this software future proofed, I won’t have to buy something more sophisticated in the next 2-3 years?
The modern software architectural approach which was used to develop Qobrix including its flexible API allows us to rapidly adjust the CRM according to any organisation’s sales process and business workflows. We build our product around your processes in rapid time. The system does what you want without excess code and excess customisation. And we make sure your product is integrated with all your other platforms so that you have all pertinent data at your fingertips.
Yes. We’re continuously investing in research and development of the CRM system in order to provide for enhanced efficiency and innovation in the field of real estate with numerous differentiating tools being built around the platform. All our clients will be eligible for all software upgrades to their existing modules for both major and minor updates which include the introduction of important new features, performance improvements and optimisations. In addition, given the flexibility of the Qobrix platform, we are very confident that any new functionalities you would like to introduce to your business can be customised and developed specifically for you. We’re building some really funky stuff around machine learning, AI, and video personalisation so watch this space!
Q What type of post-sales support do I get if I am to use this product? Our standard Service Level Agreement provides prompt support to all our clients via our online ticketing system or by phone for any problems which may arise whether of low, medium, high or critical levels of importance, with predefined response times for each level. We can offer our support by telephone, monitored email, remote assistance using remote desktop and emergency onsite assistance.
Q How can we see a demonstration? Just visit https://qobrix.com/ and request a demo. We’ll organise for you to see the system within 24 hours of submitting your request!
A counter-intuitive way to transform obstacles The immeasurable power of Amor Fati, or “loving your fate”.
TopFX MARIA MERAMVELIOTAKI Marketing Manager
Hello George, welcome back to Game Changers. It has been a long time since your last appearance. George, you must be one of the most controversial personas in the financial industry. With a background in Economics, you’ve dealt with FX for quite a lot of years! You were in, you were out and have decided you can do without! But first things first. What got you in the FX in the first place?
My formula for greatness in a human being is Amor Fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.” Friedrich Nietzsche What is fate? Are we free to choose how our life will unfold or are all the events of our life predetermined? If you happen to be a supporter of “free will” over destiny, your instinctual response will be to resist the idea of cultivating acceptance towards the notion of fate. Even if you haven’t ever thought about the question of free will versus destiny, you will still resist the idea of loving all the adversities that life throws at you. Humans are wired to avoid pain and seek pleasure, and that’s what we try to accomplish most of the time. Amor Fati means “love of fate”. It describes an attitude where one sees whatever happens in life as good or at the very least as necessary. The idea of Amor Fati has been linked to Nietzsche but is also a concept central to Stoic Philosophy. Epictetus famously noted, “Don’t seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.”
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To understand Amor Fati in a better way, we must define what “fate” is. Fate is all these things that are beyond our control and happen without us exercising our free will. Examples of such events are our specific ethnic identity, the DNA we were born with, our personality traits, and the environment we were brought up. Additionally, we could count as fate the experiencing of unfortunate events that we never thought will come our way. These events can range from trivial to critical; someone cutting us in line, getting fired, a car accident that wasn’t our fault, an unexpected failure, losing someone we love, an illness, or any other kind of life struggle.
Every time such an event occurs, our usual response is a mental fight against what happened. We mull over thoughts such as “This shouldn’t be happening” and “Why me”. It’s not unnatural to feel like this. However, it is never helpful. Our struggle against obstacles and adversity generates difficult emotions, such as disappointment or anger. We then find ourselves in a “secondary pain”, which is a pain about the pain we are facing. Instead of fighting against the unfortunate event, you could choose to embrace it and practise Amor Fati. Although you cannot change the circumstances, you can change your thoughts, your beliefs and your attitude. How can this event help me improve my life? How can I make the best out of what I cannot prevent? It’s important to note that Amor Fati is not fatalism. It doesn’t suggest that we endure circumstances that are harmful to us and which we can control, such as staying in an abusive relationship, for example. It’s a mindset that helps us embrace and transform the obstacles that we have no control over. Amor Fati can help us embrace the past and worry less about the future. We start by accepting everything that has happened in the past, embracing it or at least realising its necessity. We give meaning to our experience and use it to evolve into a better person. As far as it concerns the future, it’s crucial to understand that most of our worry derives from our attachment to the outcome. The truth is that we cannot control the outcome. We can control our thoughts, beliefs and actions. We can try to set goals, act to fulfil them and give our best self. We can plan and organise our efforts to achieve what we want, but we cannot guarantee the outcome. There are always circumstances beyond our control, and therefore by attaching to the outcome, we burden ourselves with more worry. Stoics talk about the “dichotomy of control” on which Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has based one of its most common worksheets; “the worry tree”. It summarises as follows;
If yes, do something about it, prepare a plan of action and let the worry go. When we choose to embrace the difficult events of our life, we get rid of the secondary pain, which is the emotional distress we feel about whatever has happened to us. Amor Fati liberates us from the illusion of control and our constant struggle against difficulty. We get to experience inner peace by loving every moment, no matter how challenging. We use it as fuel for our improvement and for making the best out of our imperfect life.
Can I control the event which I am worried about?
“When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves.”
If no, then there is no point worrying. Practice acceptance and let the worry go. See how I can make the best out of it.
Viktor E. Frankl
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BitEclipse Managing Director at BitEclipse
Q You have a new project. Can you tell us more about this? The BitEclipse project itself started 1.5 years ago as a compilation of our technology and experience in financial industry over 20 years+, especially eCommerce & HFT (High Frequency Trading) these days. We are originally from Investment Banks and Fintech ICT engineers and got inspired and motivated to build truly fair and cool service that anyone in the world had never seen before. The BitEclipse platform and its back-end system contains tons of solution for unique problems in eCommerce business as outof-date, non-market-convention and patch-work platforms by many third-party vendors or latency origin issues. Our first passion was to clear all of these annoying tasks and gradually shifted our biggest concern into what we can create and achieve in this area. Say, aimed to show off something revolutionary and amazingly cool to shake up the world. Q What makes BitEclipse so different? I believe what makes us special is first all team members who involve in system development has great specialty and enough experience and back ground in Financial eCommerce. Second, our service does NOT allow any other third-party service or out-source any help. Third, no patch-work or task sharing. I believe you would get amazed if you know by how much and how many people the BitEclipse was architected and created. Eventually it leads perfect system integration and realizes minimum latency and stability. Finally, outstanding idea, feature, tools or services that no one ever in the past saw at any other financial institution. And our biggest advantage is we are so fast, self-learning and try to improve everything in every day and always to deliver something exciting to customers. Q You still have your IEO open, how does someone get involved? It is very easy. Anyone (except for some residents i.e. USA or Japan etc.) can open a BitEclipse Trading Account just with 1 e-mail address in 10 seconds. Please take a look at our platform first. I don’t want to waste of your time, “A picture is worth thousand words!”. If you feel interesting, great and worth trying, I hope you would try some trades with us. And
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you may be interested in investing in our project through this IEO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; BitEclipse Token (BET) Global Sales. For more information, please visit: BET & Global Sales Information: https://biteclipse. com/bet Whitepaper: https://biteclipse.com/white-paper Q Will your platform look to replace MT4 and MT5 or look to a different market? To be honest, we have got lots of queries these
days if we could provide the BitEclipse platform as a Whitelabel or License business like MT4 / 5 or cTrader etc. However, we are not a software company and have different business model and vision. Our ultimate goal is to realize general financial service via BitEclipse which is truly useful for all the people in the world. In that sense, we are different and unfortunately, we are not thinking to release it to others at this moment. Q What is the best way for clients to see your product? Please access to the biteclipse.com first and wish you to open a BitEclipse Trading Account. It does not cost at all; you just need 1 e-mail address and 10 seconds of your time.
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THE JOURNAL FOR INDUSTRY LEADERS