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Game Changers Magazine interview with Andreas Kapsos

Match-Prime is a relatively new entity in the Cyprus forex scene as you’re just approaching your first anniversary, what attracted you to the brand?

For me, it was the opportunity to shape the company from the very beginning. Being able to use my industry experience while creating the offer made me feel I could provide my clients with a solution that would truly meet their needs. Of course, when I joined the team, there was already some vision of how Match-Prime is supposed to operate, but it was similar to how I wanted to run this company. Match-Prime has this unique advantage over other liquidity providers. It works in close partnership with the technology provider. Our liquidity solution is based on Match-Trader PRO, a new generation institutional platform developed by Match-Trade Technologies. I can safely say it’s the best technology provider on the forex market as they have recently won the Global Forex Award in this category. Thanks to our strategic partnership with MTT, we can customise the conditions or expand the offer like it’s our own technology. So when I say we can adjust to clients’ needs, it’s not just a marketing gimmick.

As a CEO and leader of your brand. What ethos does Match-Prime stand for, and how do you and your colleagues get this across?

We adopted this strategy of not selling liquidity but becoming the broker’s partner. All of the people behind Match-Prime have extensive experience in working at the biggest brokers in Europe. We have dealt with the LPs’ sales reps pressuring us to increase the number of transactions, we know how frustrating it is, and that’s definitely not how we want to do our business. I’m pretty confident about our offer and service, and I’m sure that once a client tries it,  they’ll start trading at some point. Even if they connect just to diversify their liquidity sources. We care about establishing a relationship with our clients and helping them grow. That’s what I believe will bring us the most benefit. 

When I worked in selling liquidity, I found that the brands with huge marketing budgets have the upper hand just from visibility. How can you counter this?

Visibility is very important, but nowadays, clients realise that large, established brands have less flexibility and cannot offer an individual approach due to the number of brokers served. A large LP won’t expand its offer with a less popular coin or won’t create a synthetic instrument for a single broker’s request. With such a scale of business, it simply doesn’t pay off. So they’re looking to diversify with smaller, more flexible providers, and that’s where we come in. As I said before, customer relations are essential in this industry, and I’ve managed to establish many connections throughout my professional career. Today, even though we got our licence only a year ago, we already signed several major European brokers like Skilling, for example. Clients trust our expertise to the point where they want to test our solution, and since we provide such a possibility with no strings attached, they often connect persuaded by the conditions they can check. And Cyprus, the capital of forex, aggregates most of the regulated brokers, who like to keep a close eye on what competition does, and that’s the best reference. I think it’s just easier to sign a client gained by word-of-mouth marketing rather than broad marketing exposure.   

It seems that luckily we have gone through the period of everyone being ‘Prime Brokerage’. How do you separate from the other established brands? 

It’s definitely the technology that distinguishes us from other LPs. The platform we provide to our clients offers access to a transparent, distributed and independent ECN market. It’s modern, very intuitive and what’s most important, it’s already integrated with most of the popular platforms and distribution systems, so most brokers can just connect straight away via Bridge or FIX API without any additional integration needed. Besides, we have our own Bridge, developed by MTT, which we provide along with the Match-Trader PRO platform with no extra charge. 

You put so much emphasis on technology. Is it really that important for the brokers seeking liquidity solutions? Isn’t it the instruments’ offer that matters more? 

Today’s market is already heavily saturated with liquidity providers. I believe that all regulated entities care about such aspects as due diligence on their LPs and banks or compliance and AML. I’m also very aware that other LPs offer more instruments than we do, but judging by our clients’ demands, it’s not the numbers that matter the most. The most important thing is whether our technology will allow them to react quickly to changes in the market. So you can say it is all about the possibility of adding unusual instruments, such as less popular cryptocurrencies, the popularity of which can skyrocket in an instant as it was with Dogecoin; exotic currencies or whether we can create synthetic instruments. And this is what we are doing not only at a broker’s request, but we exceed our instruments’ offer trying to be one step ahead of the market. It’s our technology, so we’re not limited by any third-party systems. As to the instruments, traders are looking for access to the physical stock market in the brokers’ offer, which is why both forex brokers and liquidity providers often ask if we have such an asset class. And we do have over 2000 equities in our offer, both physical shares with no leverage or swaps and equity CFDs with leverage, which is not very common among LPs.

I think one challenge that is always out there when you are selling liquidity is to get them to plug in and compare to others. How easy is it to compare your spreads?

It’s like a walk in the park. We can, of course, provide all the reports, but every broker can request access to a demo set-up of our platform, through which they can check how our liquidity works without having to onboard as our client. They can verify the number of available instruments, orderbook market depth (up to 10 levels) and average spreads. It’s enough to save the ticks to their database, and the broker can make its own statistics and compare average spreads with the market.

I think a common misconception to the start-up brokerage is that it is all about the spreads. Although they do play a part in the solution, what about your execution? Is there a minimum deposit to try the execution with or to open an account?

As a regulated entity which works exclusively with professional clients and institutions, we are legally bound by our Best Interest and Order Execution Policy. We host all of our servers close to our liquidity sources to minimise slippage and provide one of the fastest execution with up to 90% of orders executed at the requested price or better. A minimum deposit for an active account is 5000 USD, but we offer a three-month free trial period where a client can connect to our liquidity to test it free of charge before signing a long-term agreement. We believe it’s only fair if we give our clients some time to try the solution and see for themselves how we operate and what kind of support we provide. We’re really confident about that.

Right, cause most salespeople in FX promise the earth to get the deal signed, once it’s signed, what support do you offer afterwards?

Customer support is very important to me personally. As I myself have certain expectations regarding how I would like to be treated as a customer, I am trying to transfer the same principles to our company. First of all, there’s no ticket system, our support team is available 24/7 on several messengers like Skype, Whatsapp, Viber or Slack, plus we have an emergency phone. You can say we offer two types of support, IT support to resolve any technical or infrastructure issues that may have occurred, and there’s broker support when a client can call me or someone else from the management with individual cases. We keep close relationships with our LPs, so we can also help our clients to solve possible claims. At the beginning, we schedule regular one-on-one calls with a client to assure them we keep our finger on the pulse and they’re always up to date. We treat our clients’ businesses as our own, so we try to help in every matter and offer our professional advice.

So let’s say they love your solution, how easy is it to open an account. Is there a tonne of paperwork and can you help walk them through it all?

Of course, we offer full assistance in onboarding; it’s a part of our support package. We have a dedicated team member to guide clients through this process and help them gather all the documents. We try to make it as easy and smooth as possible. At this point, I can say it took us, on average, seven to ten days to onboard our existing clients.  

What’s the best way to reach you and Match-Prime?

You can find me on Linkedin, and I encourage everyone to add me to their network and follow our company profile to stay up to date with all the news. And for contact details such as phone number, messengers or our Nicosia office address just visit our website, it’s all in there. We’re also attending major forex expos. I’ve been to Dubai twice this year, you can also meet me here in Limassol at the iFX Expo (booth 16), and in November, we’ll be at the Finance Magnates London summit.

This interview was originally published in Game Changers Magazine: https://gchangersmag.com/editions/issue-36/

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