Expert View – Arif Alexander Ahmad, Scandinavian Capital Markets

Introduction to Scandinavian Capital Markets

Scandinavian Capital Markets is a forex broker based in Stockholm, Sweden. The company is one of a few forex brokers registered with Sweden’s national regulator Finansinspektionen. Their launch seems to come at precisely the right time, as regulations in Europe have tightened what brokers are able to offer to non-professional clients and where they can accept clients from. The same is happening in Australia too.

It’s not just the location of Scandinavian Capital Markets which is curious, it’s their business model too. Most brokers invest in scalable marketing, intelligent onboarding flows and as few barriers to entry as possible. Scandinavian Capital Markets challenge this status quo. They focus on face-to-face meetings, personal client services and minimum deposits of 10,000 USD. 

Introduction to Arif Alexander Ahmad

While Scandinavian Capital Markets has just recently made its entrance on the forex scene, the founding team is far from amateur. Arif Alexander Ahmad with the rest of the Scandinavian Capital Markets team has been providing bespoke asset management services for almost a decade. We talk to Arif to get his input on how their past experience will shape the future product offering of the company. Scandinavian Capital Markets trading services will be mostly targeted at high net worth traders and money managers. 

On your website, in the “Contact Us” section you have the option to “Book a Meeting”. Not once have we seen this on another brokers website. Do you get many meetings this way? 

We do get a fair share from people in the region. Our approach has always been to meet and get to know our clients in person in order to understand their needs. This is why we launched the Valhalla Initiative in 2018 where we actually invited a lot of our clients over on a 2 day paid trip to Stockholm to meet and get to know us, hear our stories and build a relationship. We got the inspiration from the famous Swedish carmaker Volvo who usually invites their buyers over to view their factory in Trollhättan, Sweden and show how the cars and the various parts are manufactured. The Valhalla Initiative has been a huge success and the clients have appreciated the more hands-on approach as opposed to the traditional way of handling relationship management with customers.

One area where forex brokers struggle, even in London with FCA regulation is maintaining reliable banking relationships. Sweden is apparently one of the best countries in the world to do business in. How has your experience with the banks been? 

We have been very fortunate to have very strong banking relationships at Scandinavian Capital Markets. The Swedish banks include Nordea, Swedbank and SEB, and are among the most well-capitalized banks in the world with a Tier-1 core capital ratio of 21%, whereas the European average is around 13%. This means that the trust and confidence in Swedish banks are a lot higher than other jurisdictions and people generally have a lot of trust and confidence in the Swedish banking system. Given that we use these banks means that we can extend this trust and confidence to our clients knowing that they are investing their money in robust financial institutions with a longstanding history.

The 10,000 USD minimum deposit barrier you have set will exclude much of the retail industry. Clearly, it means revenue per client will justify the cost of providing high-quality service. But do you see yourself reducing this barrier in the future, even slightly? 

We set the barrier as our execution venue is built, and more focused on professional traders, money managers and asset management companies. The 10k minimum allows us to focus and give better service to high-end professional traders that are looking to generate alpha, by giving them a superior trading environment to succeed in. Our technology infrastructure combined with our institutional grade liquidity pools makes the Scandinavian execution venue the go-to place for professional traders to trade in.

Are the clients you work with surprised at the quality of service you provide? Or is it considered as standard for high depositing forex traders? 

Our red carpet service has always been our brand at Scandinavian Capital Markets. We’ve focused heavily on giving good quality support for our clients and our service is built on the pillars of traditional Swedish safety, security and transparency which is well-known around the world. Because we focus more on quality rather than quantity, this allows us to give more time and better service to our high-end traders and managers that we build long term relationships with.

What is your vision for scaling the hands-on client-centric approach? How will you ensure these values stay in place as the company and client base grows? 

Our key focus is to build long term relationships with good clients that we can service. This means understanding their needs and wants and ensuring they get a great trading experience. Because our senior management team comes from the asset management industry, we know what traders need in order to succeed in the market and our primary goal with the brokerage is to give superior trading conditions through our technology and liquidity offering. Our values will stay the same as long as we take care of our employees who reflect those values to the clients.

Scandinavian Capital Markets Team
The Scandinavian Capital Markets Team, at their HQ in Stockholm

Transparency, Deep Liquidity, ECN, Tight Spreads are the industry buzzwords. How are they true with Scandinavian Capital Markets?

Buzzwords can usually only take you so far. “The proof is in the pudding” as they say. It is true commitment and passion for service, technology and people that make you stand out from the others. I would say that the Scandinavian Capital Markets product is among the best in the industry as we try and go the extra mile for our clients. We combine this exceptional customer service with tier one technology. All of our trading platform servers are co-located next to our liquidity providers in LD4.

Coming from an Asset Management background where your objective was to make money for your clients, how does that sentiment pass into your forex trading services?  

It’s very simple. It has always been about creating value for your clients, whether generating returns for them in the asset management space or creating an excellent foundation and environment for other traders to make money. As our roots are from asset management and most of our senior management comes from the CTA and fund space, we knew what traders wanted from a brokerage. Traders have unfortunately been discouraged by some dishonest entities in the market and we wanted to change this trajectory by creating a world-class execution venue for traders to succeed in. We are fortunate enough to combine a strong technology and liquidity offering with our Swedish heritage of safety and security in addition to strong banking relationships. All these combined, I believe makes Scandinavian Capital Markets a prime venue for people looking for a reliable and good trading venue.

Learn More About Scandinavian Capital Markets

After this compelling insight into what goes on at Scandinavian Capital Markets, you might be wondering how you can learn more about this great company. You can either head over to their website, scandinavianmarkets.com, or you can check our detailed review of the company

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