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Interview with Stavros Lambouris, CEO International for HYCM

Stavros Lambouris is the CEO International for HYCM, a provider of online FX and CFD trading services to retail and institutional investors. In a position which he has held since October 2014, Lambouris is actively involved in all day-to-day management decisions together with the implementation of the company's short and long term plans. More specifically, Lambouris is responsible for overseeing the company’s expansion through the implementation of the latest trading platform technology and rollout of new trading services, while extending its global footprint into the European region in parallel with the Middle East, South America and African geographical regions.

Prior to his current role, Lambouris held several senior roles at HYCM’s parent company, the Henyep Group, a leading global corporation with a diversified portfolio of financial and other related businesses spanning three continents.

Lambouris has also held senior positions at AFX Capital and Easy Forex (now Easy Markets), building on his wealth of experience in the capital markets.

Tell us about a little about HYCM’s history and how the company’s trading services have evolved in recent years?

HYCM has a 40 year operational history with a reputation for offering a trustworthy and transparent online trading service to investors. We excel in providing traders with access to our extensive range of services via our state-of-the-art trading platform and mobile app and offering an extensive asset portfolio. We also consistently focus on first-class customer service and satisfaction so that our clients can enjoy one of the best trading experiences in the industry. The company is part of the Henyep Group, an international conglomerate established in 1977, with businesses in financial services, property, education and charity and is multi-regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK (FCA), a licence obtained back in 1997, along with licences from Dubai Financial Service Authority (DFSA) and Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). The company has global representation with offices in United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Dubai.

In terms of how the company’s trading services have evolved, the forex industry on the whole has advanced rapidly in recent years in response to the increase in popularity of forex trading, a change that we which we have been part of. More recently, we have seen a broadening of participation in the industry illustrated by the growing number of forex brokers in existence who are now facing increased competition in the market.

The sector has not only become more competitive but acquisition costs are continuing to rise so we have had to constantly look for ways to manage these changes and excel in an industry that is set to evolve even further during the next few years. Stricter industry regulations have also meant tougher guidelines and stricter enforcement and as with other industry participants, we have had to place a greater focus on internal compliance and greater transparency - all to the benefit of our clients.

Technological advancements have also been a factor in the company’s development and we have seen significant advances include those by platform provider, MetaQuotes (MetaTrader) which help us meet our traders’ changing requirements. The shift in trend towards mobile trading with mobile apps together with developments in online payments has also facilitated the trading process further and changed the way in which a large percentage of our clients trade. As the market continues to evolve, we will continue to embrace the latest technological developments in order to excel in this changing and challenging market.

What makes your current trade platform and capabilities unique?

Implementing the latest technological developments is central to both our business operations and client offerings, enabling us to offer trading services on a large portfolio of tradable assets via a state-of-the-art trading platform and mobile app.

We also distinguish ourselves by employing a professional approach in all aspects of our operations and ensuring that we always adhere to strict procedures and regulations. To this end, we provide our clients with a safe and secure environment within which they can trade with complete confidence.

Our clients also benefit from the fact that HYCM is part of the Henyep Group, an international conglomerate with a 40 year operational history and a reputation for offering a trustworthy and transparent service to investors. Not only are they trading with a long-established broker, but one which consistently places a strong emphasis on customer care and satisfaction.

Who are your typical clients?

Our customer base comprises both retail clients including professional traders and institutional clients. Retail clients account for the average person looking to trade forex and take advantage of the volatility of the markets. Some of these may already have a “day job” but choose to trade to boost their income. Professional traders on the other hand, work full time at forex trading either in a private setting or within a corporate environment.

Our corporate clients are institutional clients utilising the forex industry as a secondary vehicle to make a return on investment (ROI). Institutional clients looking to commence a company themselves can use HYCM’s white label solutions instead of starting from scratch.

Finally, we work with partners who have a large pool of networks and are seeking to capitalise on these connections by training and providing them with an introduction to HYCM, being a solid and reputable broker.

What challenges does the forex industry face nowadays?

The challenges faced by the industry relate to technological advancements, increased regulation and transparency and increased competition. While technology has helped ease entry to the market, the capital investment needed to keep up has also increased. Indeed, operating in fractions of milliseconds has become an important component towards achieving faster execution. This could deter new participants entering the market in the future, particularly those who may not have the extensive resources required to keep up.

In addition, while the positive influence that technological changes have had on market functioning including narrower spreads is evident, it is not yet certain how these changes may affect the broader price discovery process or liquidity of the markets overall.

As far as brokerage firms are concerned, the marketplace has become a crowded area. With so many new companies entering the forex arena, new business opportunities are becoming harder to find, especially as a result of increasing restrictions being placed on brokers by the regulators in terms of services offered and tighter controls over their promotional efforts. Forex brokers are also facing increasingly steeper acquisition costs as we have already seen, and are constantly having to find innovative ways of increasing revenue.

While many brokers look to expand into geographical areas such as China and the Middle East which offer great potential for growth, or offer alternative services to draw in new clients, both strategies pose new risks and efforts, hence the challenges are very real.

What does HYCM have in store for the future?

We are continuing to experience major growth and build on our success with several plans in the pipeline. We will be extending our global footprint into regions that offer us with further growth opportunities including China, Middle East, South America, Africa and Europe. China in particular, has experienced substantial economic growth with people looking for new investment opportunities, which in turn has fuelled part of our growth over the last years. Another dynamic market that has been a core market for us is the Middle East where we are constantly looking to expand our presence with local partnerships.

In accordance with our plans to extend our partnership network, we will also be looking into European B2B opportunities and working closely with partners who wish to leverage on HYCM’s cutting-edge trading platform and benefit from a broad range of rebate programs. Our multi-level marketing rebate tiers, free market reviews for clients, customisable marketing and advertising tools and local office and events support are all geared up to help our partners grow their business and maximise their earning potential.

In terms of new services, we shortly plan to incorporate a new trading platform into our trading infrastructure, thereby expanding the range of trading platforms offered to our clients together with the introduction of variable spreads and the addition of some more exciting tradable assets to our portfolio.

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