Exclusive interview: In talks with BDSwiss’ Chief Revenue Officer, Francesco Ceccarini

LeapRate interview… Chief Revenue Officer of BDSwiss, Francesco Ceccarini, sat down with LeapRate to tell us more about the CFD trading provider’s performance despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, their future plans, and his outlook on what success will look like in the future for fintech companies.

Today, the BDSwiss Group serves clients in more than 185 countries worldwide, and offers MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, and its own native WebTrader platform as well as a Mobile Trading app. Formed in Zug, Switzerland, and now headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus, the group maintains more than 10 offices in Europe and in Southeast Asia.

LR: Hi Francesco and thank you for joining LeapRate today. The past months have undoubtedly been a challenging time in history. How did BDSwiss perform in 2020 and so far in 2021?

Francesco Ceccarini (FC): 2020 brought very volatile markets as a result of COVID-induced uncertainty and presented a set of unique challenges for everyone in the financial services sector. However, all our teams across the globe worked tirelessly to meet these challenges, and we recorded the best commercial results in our history.

In the early stages of the pandemic, we saw panic-selling of stocks and commodities, together with a rush towards the US dollar. Investors were seeking havens from market turmoil, and so there was a rush into safer investments such as gold, government bonds and reserve currencies. However, the resolute global response by health authorities ensured the recovery of the markets. All market participants, whether it be governments, institutions, businesses or individuals; we were all forced to adapt, and quickly.

In Q2 and Q3 2020, the BDSwiss Group experienced record trading volumes, particularly surpassing previous results in currencies and indices. There was a fresh influx of novice traders discovering trading for the first time. As a result, we significantly improved the Group’s revenues and earnings.

All our key metrics including net deposits, active clients and trading volumes, have set new records.

Our total trading volume in 2020 peaked over 1 trillion USD and we’re on track to sustain our strong growth multiples in 2021.

Despite the logistical challenges presented by COVID-19, we foresee our strong growth trajectory continuing, with a focus on consolidating our market positions around the globe and on specifically expanding in dynamic high-growth regions, such as South-East Asia and Latin America.

In talks with BDSwiss’ Chief Revenue Officer, Francesco Ceccarini

LR: How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect BDSwiss’ ability to offer its services to clients?

FC: Our business remained 100% operational while working from home and we have been able to seamlessly provide our clients with the high level of service they need and deserve.

Our teams pulled together, adapted, and provided a high level of service to new and existing clients.

We have expanded our product offering with the launch of more than a thousand new CFDs, including 80 exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and over 900 leading stocks with direct market access (DMA), while continuing to offer non-stop high quality research and analysis, live education and twice the number of webinars in more than 7 languages.

With a focus on client longevity, we also took the extra mile by developing ‘Trends Analysis’ in partnership with Autochartist, a multi-feature trading tool available exclusively on BDSwiss WebTrader. Our Trends Analysis tool screens hundreds of charts 24/5 by taking into account major releases and news to help traders stay ahead of the curve and on top of market trends which keeps improving client retention while assisting a new generation of traders entering the trading arena. Trends Analysis will soon be available on the BDSwiss Mobile Trading app, allowing our clients to access it on the go.

Ultimately, COVID-19 did not affect our capital adequacy and financial reserve commitments. In contrast, we managed to avoid the majority of adverse effects and went on to set multiple company records. This stands as a testament to the security measures and risk management safeguards we’ve put in place in recent years.

LR: What specific challenges did BDSwiss overcome in recent months?

FC:  Expanding into new territories during a pandemic, is easier said than done. Meeting the challenges of international expansion is crucial. The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely been a blocker to business development, limiting travelling and making the hiring process difficult, but also allowed us the time to research more, test and experiment, analyse the competition, improve our product and get more prepared than ever. Without the right preparation involving research on  regulations and target audience needs, as well as on acquiring talented staff that can provide a foundational knowledge which influences success within a specific region, any hopes of growth in an unfamiliar market fall flat.

We are already back on track and as we return back to normality, we remain focused on expanding and on making lucrative partnerships, specifically in dynamic high-growth regions such as South-East Asia and Latin America.

LR: How do you see the FX/CFD industry developing post-COVID?

FC: In the financial services industry, the only constant is change. During the last year, we were faced with Brexit, FCA regulatory changes, the crypto CFD ban by European regulators, and the pandemic.

The companies that innovate and are adaptive to new working conditions are the ones that will thrive the most in the long run and will manage to harness revolutionary developments in fintech, blockchain, remote operations and cloud computing. In contrast, inefficient companies with outdated operations have no choice but to adopt higher standards; failure to do so means being left behind.

The firms that will succeed in the post-COVID era are the ones that will have paid close attention to changes in their clients’ needs. For example, BDSwiss is focusing on giving people access to the markets with ease, security and confidence by providing insightful education, expert market research and broad-based client support.

It is breathtaking, how quickly and sharply COVID-19 has driven up demand for online tools and services. E-commerce, payments and online trading are booming and capital markets are thriving.

Our ultimate vision is to offer everyone direct access to all asset classes. For us, this means transcending the existing subset of FX and other CFD market products by offering a wider array of investment solutions that better serve our clients.

In March, BDSwiss Holding Ltd. revealed it secured two International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certifications from external certification bodies, TÜV Cyprus and TÜV Hellas (TÜV Nord Group).

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