LeapRate interview… Jens Chrzanowski, Member of the Management Board of Admiral Markets Group AS and Chief Value Officer sat down with us to discuss the company’s 20 year anniversary and rebranding.
Founded in 2001, the multi-regulated brokerage has just announced a rebrand to Admirals. Jens explains how the move signifies that the company is no longer only a Forex & CFD broker but has set broader, more ambitious goals.
LR: The last time Admiral Markets was LeapRate’s guest, the brokerage had recently moved its retail business to the UK and was planning to expand in the Asia Pacific region. What has changed since then?
Jens: Mission complete! Because of our new reality where Brexit was finalised at the end of 2020, we now offer our European Clients all our services via Admirals Cyprus, our regulated EU entity. We are very happy with the established business offer via the UK, but all EU brokers had to act. Brexit is Brexit – without the EU’s regulation being valid in the region, it is not possible to offer the UK business in the EU anymore. Cyprus is one of the new hotspots for Forex & CFD brokers in Europe, and we made sure that all the quality we offer our clients has been carried over more than intact. We just established an additional insurance cover, which upgrades the standard protection for our clients to a new level. The standard client protection via the ICF (Investor Compensation Fund) is limited to up to 20,000 EUR to a client, but client security is our priority, so we wanted to provide the best possible protection available, and now offer protection up to 100,000 EUR! Without any additional costs for our clients.
So many more things have happened, and we improve every day! We established our own trading app, developed entirely in-house, and we are introducing our new Copy Trading service shortly, and we are expanding into more and more regions/countries for our global offer.
LR: Did the virus situation affect the company, and how has Admiral Markets managed this challenging period of global uncertainty within the COVID-19 pandemic?
Jens: 2020 was a very unusual year for all of us. The financial sector clearly felt the effects of the pandemic, particularly at the beginning of the crisis, when markets around the world panicked and volatility reached unprecedented levels. This was one of the reasons why the trading industry received special attention from investors who had no previous experience in active trading. The demand was immense, and we saw record numbers of new clients as well as record trading volumes. During this turbulent period, all our trading systems performed reliably and stably. Many of our colleagues worked extra hours and rose to new heights in order to ensure an uninterrupted trading experience during such challenging times. These efforts have been even recognized with an award, as we were named a ”Reliable Partner in Times of Crisis” from the German Customer Institute (DKI) in spring 2020!
LR: Do you now have some insight into how the global markets have been responding to the coronavirus?
Jens: Due to the pandemic, we have seen some market segments experience their lowest lows, while others set out to conquer numbers they never would have expected to see in the near future. One of the sectors that was hit particularly hard was the tourism industry and with it, the airline industry. Prices plummeted while companies tried to hold on to what was left. Many went bankrupt and others had to rely on public aid. The decreased demand from this and other sectors led to one special market phenomenon, where oil future prices fell to negative values for a while. However, other sectors have hugely benefited from the crises. Unsurprisingly, streaming video platforms, online retailers, and all providers of services which aided people while working from home have seen huge increases in their stock prices. It will be very interesting to see how all the companies which have been greatly affected by the pandemic (both positively and negatively) will perform when the dust has settled.
LR: Is 2020 the year of radical change for the industry? What has changed for the retail trading industry in 2020, and what can we expect in 2021?
Jens: I wouldn’t say that the past year has caused any radical changes within our industry. We have seen hugely increased demand and some brokers dealt better with it than others. Some had to stop onboarding new clients, while others (like Admirals) were up to the challenge and proved their reliability, even during the most turbulent of times. The past year has proven to be a selection process where some of us made it out alive and stronger than ever, and others closed for business, and also some new players emerged. In any case, we are determined to continue our success story of the past 20 years in 2021 and, together with our customers, we are looking forward to the many new additions to our portfolio.
LR: Admiral Markets marks its 20th anniversary this year. What have been the highlights looking back?
Jens: I consider it one of our greatest accomplishments that we have managed to turn the active trading of indices from a niche product not offered by most Forex brokers, into a sought-after top seller that people around the globe are interested in trading. In this way, we contributed to the evolution of the marketplace. Diversity is something we think about as a society and as a company, so we have made sure that your trading offer should be more than just Forex currency pairs. Sometimes, traders have a higher interest in the EUR/USD, but sometimes they desire Gold, and for the past few years, the DAX and Dow. If a brokerage doesn’t see this and is developing their offer in this direction, something has gone wrong! Therefore, I would like to thank each and every one of our colleagues for doing their part in transforming Admirals from being mainly a Forex broker, to today’s great Forex and CFD Broker, and in our near future, an outstanding financial hub. Our evolution will never slow down.
LR: What developments can we expect to see from Admiral Markets in the immediate future?
Jens: As we celebrate the company’s anniversary, which will be celebrated with virtual parties due to the COVID safety measures, we are also celebrating our rebranding. We have been known as “Admiral Markets” and from March 5th, we will be called “Admirals”. The rebranding is to signal that we are no longer, as previously stated, only a Forex & CFD broker, but have given ourselves much higher goals. We, step-by-step, want to offer further financial services, which will cover a broad spectrum of all-around personal finance. Trading will always be a significant part of our offer – because we have more than 20 years of experience in this field and look back on an entrepreneurial success story – but it will not be the only offer anymore! We already started; at the beginning of the year, we launched our AM Card, powered by Visa. This is a virtual card where you can make purchases directly from your trading balance. The physical card will be available in the spring. Many more exciting things like this are to come.
We were founded 20 years ago, and our motto was “Trading for everyone”. That was made possible through the leverage that is inherent in Forex and CFDs, so that even with small sums of money you can enter into interesting trades at the lowest possible cost – in both price directions: BUY and SELL. In the future, we are going to offer our customers much, much more. Our next goal is to make money operations as easy and affordable for everyone as possible.