Introduction to Alex Katsaros and TopFX
Alex Katsaros is the CEO of TopFX, a Cyprus based and CySEC regulated Prime Broker. TopFX has been providing liquidity to forex brokers since 2010. Alex has been running the show at TopFX for almost 4 years now. He is an ideal guest to interview on our site because prior to leading the team at TopFX, he was the head of product development at Spotware. He was involved in the very early development of the cTrader platform. Today, TopFX has a solid relationship with Spotware and has created the All-in-One Broker Solution, which features the cTrader platform as one of its main components.
Interview with TopFX CEO
In this interview, we look to Alex Katsaros for his insights and opinions as TopFX CEO and ex-Spotware employee. We focus on the company’s leading solution for startup brokers, which is relevant for both new and young businesses. Alex also explains in detail what TopFX exactly does and what makes them different.
What differentiates TopFX from other liquidity providers, and liquidity providers from one another in general?
In the last five years, there is a lot of competition in the Liquidity space. As you may have noticed the line between B2B and B2C has now been blurred out with many retail brokers offering liquidity products as well.
Still, the core offering of a Liquidity Provider makes all the difference. Low spreads, fast execution, no slippage. At TopFX we strive to offer the best possible trading conditions, challenging our clients to compare us with anyone on the market.
An experienced Liquidity Provider offers customized solutions, guides new clients and supports them on a first-name basis. TopFX has been in this business since 2010, so our clients can rest assured that we’ve seen it all, and we will solve all their problems like we assisted more than a hundred brokers before them.
Besides the core offering and experience, a big differentiating factor now is added services. Liquidity Providers need to cater to the additional business demands of their clients. In TopFX we went all-in with that mission by providing our newest product, the TopFX All-in-One broker solution.
How did the idea of the All-in-One package come to fruition? What has the demand been like over the years?
Our everyday contact with clients led us to realize that there is great demand for a turnkey solution that empowers entrepreneurs to start their own CFD brokerage easy and fast. We know how challenging and time-consuming it is for our clients to set up an infrastructure and acquire services for their brokerage, especially when they transition to the CFD space from other industries like Banking or Blockchain.
We want our broker-partners to be focusing on marketing and client acquisition, instead of Liquidity, platforms, CRMs, and payments. The All-in-One broker Solution allows them to do exactly that. I am very happy with how well our newest product was received by the CFD industry.
It needs to be pointed out that when our clients onboard the All-in-One Broker solution they get the full cTrader platform together with cBroker – the back office and administrative solution – and cServer, their own trade server. This product is not a Whitelabel solution, which is what most of our competitors are offering but a solution that enables clients to run their own CFD brokerage, accept clients’ funds and have their own Liquidity Provider.
What would you say are the biggest challenges for new brokers and how would TopFX address them for its clients?
The biggest challenges when forming a new brokerage are to acquire a good liquidity partner, to set up a proper infrastructure – the trading platform, CRM, website & client area – to arrange for good banking and payment processor relationships and to be successful in attracting clients.
TopFX has everything covered. With many years of experience offering Liquidity to our clients, we’ve added the All-in-One Broker solution product to take care of their infrastructure and payment processor needs, thus solving their first three biggest challenges.
In regards to marketing, we provide our clients with the best “ammunition” by offering cTrader, the most user-friendly and technologically advanced trading platform in the world. cTrader allows for five different trading methods in one application which works across all devices. Specifically, manual traders can trade and modify positions via regular order windows or with drag and drop trading directly on the chart. Copy traders can follow leading strategy providers. Algo traders can use cBots to automate their trades. cTrader is also now integrated with Autochartist, which allows traders to follow signals with the click of a button. Last but not least, professional traders can use cTrader’s FIX API.
We know why cTrader is a good fit for traders. But why is cTrader a good fit for new brokers?
Older platforms require brokers to set up a bridge, manage the hosting, and have 24/5 dedicated admin teams with specialized knowledge to maintain that infrastructure. Even after all of this is managed, they receive a product in which setting up the backend is challenging due to outdated limitations that don’t make much sense today. All this hassle to end up with platforms that don’t work in all devices. As a result, brokers have to incur costs from other technology vendors in order to receive additional added services.
Compare that to cTrader, a platform that comes as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution, hosted by Spotware, requires no bridge, with backend set up in a couple of days, allowing every possible trading method via one interface which is available on your Windows PC, your MAC, your web browser, your tablet or your phone, and you got your answer!
New brokers come and go. It’s hard to know what’s happening behind the scenes and who’s actually in it for the long haul. Do you think a new broker offering the cTrader platform makes a statement?
I most certainly do. Brokers who offer cTrader make, not one, but two important statements.
The first one is that they embrace technical evolution, caring about their client’s well being, striving to offer the best tech possible. They understand the huge technological gap between cTrader and the competition, how important is to be present in all of the user’s devices, and are often as big fans of the platform as we are.
The second statement is that they partner with a platform that always places “Traders First”. From its inception, cTrader had a mission to elevate the CFD industry by eliminating all malicious practices and plug-ins. No requotes, no slippages, no price injections, no history manipulations, etc. A broker embracing cTrader also embraces a modern fair and transparent CFD industry that respects the trader.
What’s your favourite cTrader feature?
The cTrader team was comprised of interface and technology experts that brought inspired ideas to the table that I personally could never have imagined. It’s easy to appreciate the love and devotion that went into cTrader when trading with it.
However, It’s not possible for me to be entirely objective, because my favourite cTrader feature is “Chart Trading”, a feature that I suggested immediately after joining the team.
There had been attempts to do it before, mostly by stock trading platforms in the U.S., but no platform ever managed to implement it in the brilliant way that cTrader designers and engineers did it using the most advanced technologies. The first time you will place a stop loss or a take profit for your position, directly in the chart, you will understand what I mean.