How Moving Off-Shore Made My Company Competitive

Zero Point Portal

I guess I should start by telling you that I've always wanted to be a business. I grew up in Waltham, Massachusetts. It’s a city about 12-15 outside of Boston. I even attended a business school in Waltham-Bentley University. In 2000 after finishing school a year early I went to work for a stockbroker in Manhattan. That was my first exposure to the capital markets. And that was it. I had found my field of choice.

I stayed in the equities business until 2006 when by chance I discovered forex. A headhunter had offered me an opportunity to work at a forex broker, on the sales and dealing desk. The broker was based in Boston and it was an opportunity for me to go back home. The rest, as they say, is history.

Forex became my niche in the financial world. I had excelled in sales and quickly headed the desk that I worked for. At that point I became a hired gun. Back to Manhattan I went to work for another broker, this time as head of their sales desk. I grew the sales team, brought in the business, took my pay, and went home. It wasn’t a bad life. I was enjoying myself and truth be told, I just so happened to be good at what I did.

A seed started germinating in my head. My come to Jesus moment wasn’t so much a moment as it was a view that I could do this business better than the people that I worked for. Moreover, I had recently read a great quote about wealthy men making other men rich. I figured if I could create a better broker then I would be making other men rich, in the sense that they wouldn’t be manipulated as they were in many of the brokerages that I worked at. It was always very troubling to me. And I decided that I had enough. I could change it if I ran the show.

The U.S. was going through difficult financial times and as a result, Washington decided it was a good time to add more regulations and create more laws. Dodd-Frank was born. Inside this long bill is a regulation regarding the forex industry. To make a long story short, my desire to open up a forex broker could no longer be done in the United States. This did not deter me. I quickly made the decision that I had to go offshore.

I had a team of advisors, however. You see, being in the sell side and working the positions I held allowed me to make extensive connections in the industry. These connections proved to be valuable as my whole team-current management-came as a result of these connections. At some point, the idea was raised about Latin America and the low costs involved with setting up shop there. I had roots in a country called Ecuador. So it became part of the a short list of offshore destinations.

Through some analysis it was decided that the best place would be Ecuador, particularly the capital, Quito. The costs associated with setting up shop here would allow us to create a brokerage that could compete with the established brokers right away on trading costs to clients. In fact, Alpha Trading CM was born with the idea of providing institutional service and pricing to the retail trader. If you ever take a look at our website ( and see our spreads you will notice they are amongst the lowest in the industry. We also set ourselves apart by offering STP and ECN execution with no commissions. And I mention all this is because part of the reason we could offer this is because of the fact that our head office is in Quito, Ecuador. Of course, the important aspects of Alpha are not. For example our servers are in New York, and funds are held off-shore, in a very strong and well known Canadian bank. Still, our physical presence here has allowed us to compete with the big boys and offer just as or in most cases, a better trading environment. We are customer-centric, and we take no exposure to our clients, meaning we have no dealing desk-another approach to the business that sets Alpha Trading CM apart.

Part of that difference is that Alpha is an international full service forex broker that can bring you the trading savings that we can because our head office is in Quito, Ecuador. Business is truly global, there are really no borders. And where you call home can have a positive impact on your success as well. Personally, I was nudged into this position. And although I don’t completely agree with Dodd-Frank, I do thank the bill for allowing me to think outside the box and take the step to move offshore and start a better broker-Alpha Trading CM. Life is funny that way. Don’t be afraid to take the steps necessary for you to achieve your goals…even if it means going to live abroad.

by Fred Velez, Alpha Trading CM

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