LeapRate Interview: FXAchieve’s Ioannis Gerousis emphasizes the importance of specialist knowledge

In Cyprus’ prominent and highly competitive retail FX sector, Ioannis Gerousis, CEO of FXAchieve considers the key to career improvement and enhanced opportunities among potential candidates to be specialist education

Cyprus, an island of less than one million residents, has become a veritable hub for retail FX firms, with such a vast number of brokerages which serve an overseas audience in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. 

Indeed so significant is the proliferation of retail FX firms in Cyprus that it is disproportionate to not only the country’s population but eclipses many other industry sectors on the island. Therefore, a number of supporting businesses which provide services to FX companies have been established across Cyprus, from professional services consultancies and law firms, to dedicated human resources agencies. 

One such firm is FXAchieve, which was established by two industry professionals with a background in senior level positions within retail FX brokerages, and is aimed at providing specialist training to potential employees in order to impart skills and knowledge and thus provide them with the highest chances of improving their careers in the FX business in Cyprus, which has become a highly competitive environment. 

Ioannis Gerousis, co-founder and co-CEO of FXAchieve spoke with LeapRate in order to detail the need for expert employment consultancy in Cyprus.

Please detail your career background and how you arrived at FXAchieve

FXAchieve was created by two experienced driven likeminded inviduals George Pavlakoudis and Ioannis Gerousis. We decided to quit our daily jobs and focus on improving the Cyprus retail forex workforce.

Ioannis until recently was the CEO of FXNet Ltd while George Pavlakoudis was the Head of Dealing at Infin Markets, both firms are licensed in Cyprus. Both have numerous years of experience and worked their way up both beginning from entry level positions in an industry that was starting to boom!

What did you seek to achieve when establishing FXAchieve and how did you set it in place?

We both used to work together at the same company, and even after we had gone our separate ways, we continued to remain in touch. The last year or so we both noticed that we were receiving a large number of CVs, and we realized that the forex industry although the largest hiring industry in Cyprus was still experiencing a large number of staff turnovers. Upon closer inspection of the CVs we realized that people were not nearly as qualified as they should to be getting these jobs in the forex industry and this is where we discovered a gap in the market. Therefore we decided to establish FX Achieve a forex education school in Cyprus.

Cyprus has become a hub for retail FX firms and supporting companies. How do recruitment firms which gear their services toward FX companies streamline their services so that they can attract staff that will stay in their position, and what is the retention rate bearing in mind most are expatriates from other European nations?

FXAchieve is not a recruitment agency but rather a forex training centre for employees to assist in finding potential job opportunities. However we believe that the reason behind people not staying in the same position for longer periods of time is attributed to the highly competitive job market.

There is a degree of competition among recruitment firms which are dedicated to the FX sector. What is FXAchieve’s advantage over others, and how is this maintained on a small island with fierce competition?

FXAchieve is not a recruitment agency therefore we are not competing with other agencies, rather helping them by providing them with highly trained potential candidates.

When the banking crisis in Cyprus resulted in many employees of Laiki Bank and Bank of Cyprus seeking new opportunities, was the skill set of such employees transferrable to FX, and what facets did redundant bank employees bring to the FX industry?

Yes we received lots of interest from former bank employees. Some did have transferable skills however the majority did not, purely based on their previous roles in the bank.

Given that most Cyprus-based retail FX firms are white labels of larger companies or liquidity providers and therefore operate on narrow margins, what is the advantage for them to pay a placement fee to a recruitment firm compared to sourcing employees in-house through referrals or offering a bonus to new recruits who are able to bring their colleagues from previous employers?

We do not know the specifics of what recruiters are paid, however it does save the company time and money since the potential candidates are filtered and selected based on specific criteria that the company provides to the recruiter.

What is the average term of a sales or retention staff member at a retail FX firm?

It largely depends on the company, the working environment and conditions but we can comfortably say at least 1-3 years.

How do you view the potential demand for employees in Cyprus as an increasing number of FX firms are opting for British FCA licenses and establishing their offices in London?

I believe this is advantageous to senior level employees in Cyprus firms as they already know the market and have gained many years of experience that will benefit any forex company trying to grow.

What are the main caveats to bear in mind when dealing with a Cyprus FX broker as an outside supplier?

As we also have started to offer consultancy services to forex companies we have discovered that is necessary to be competitive in terms of pricing, but even more important is being honest with what you know and what you don’t. Many suppliers and consultants have taken advantage of unsuspecting owners, shareholders and experienced CEOs. We here at FXAchieve believe in full transparency and providing high level quality service.

What is FXAchieve’s plan for the remainder of the year?

Our plan is that FXAchieve will emerge as the premier forex education center which succeeds in engaging and empowering individuals to not only change their own lives but to have a substantial impact on the companies they may enter.

For more on the global Forex industry see the LeapRate-Dow Jones Forex Industry Report.


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