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Meet Bjorn Enqvist: An ex-Football player making noise in FX
18/10/2016
Meet Bjorn Enqvist: An ex-Football player making noise in FX

The 40 Forex Leaders under 40 campaign aims to identify Forex Industry leaders behind the scenes making your trade possible. Meet Bjorn Enqvist, a Forex leader nominated for the Best Industry Networker category.

October 18, AtoZForexThe Forex market is characterized by the ever-evolving regulation and technology. In the fast paced environment the market participants have to adapt, grow and innovate. Especially, in the retail brokerage segment of the Forex market, talented and persistent professionals are demanded. Yet, often traders overlook these hard working professionals. To celebrate these professionals, AtoZ Forex’s 40 Forex Leaders under 40 campaign brings those hard working leaders behind the scenes enabling traders place their orders.

In today’s interview we meet Bjorn Enqvist, who is nominated for the Best Industry Networker category. Prior to his Forex career, Bjorn also had an exciting career as a professional football player, and was signed for several renowned football clubs. After an interesting career switch, now Bjorn is the Managing Director at Advanced Markets / Fortex. What made Bjorn so successful in both his careers in Football and Forex?

Quyen: “Congratulations on being nominated as the Best Industry Networker. For our readers, I would like to ask, who is Bjorn to the world?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “How the world perceives me is quite a difficult question to answer but let’s have a go! I’m a married family man, of Swedish origin, living in Limassol, Cyprus and working in the FX industry.

I love life in general and try to treat people the way I want to be treated. In business, I believe I’m a team player who enjoys interacting with new people and building strong, lasting relationships. I like a challenge and I enjoy exploring new aspects of business and life.”

Quyen: “As a football fan, I can’t help to notice that you had a successful and professional football career. How did you end up in the Forex market from Football fields?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “I’m not so sure if I was that successful, that’s for others to say. I aimed higher than I reached but I did manage to play professionally for a total of 18 years in a highly competitive industry, in 5 different countries which I’m very proud of. Not many players have achieved that. 

My switch to FX was purely coincidental or perhaps fate. Before FX, my involvement in the financial markets was limited to buying stocks and funds through online bank platforms in Sweden. I was actually aiming to pursue a career in iGaming and my first job, after coming out of football retirement, was at a Scandinavian gaming brand, CRM, here in Limassol. So I guess I was, at least, on the right track when the Forex opportunity presented itself.”

Quyen: “Indeed, that is surely a coincidental career switch, but how did it develop further. Could you walk me through your Forex journey?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “My first taste of the Forex industry came shortly after Roy Hen hired me as Customer Retention Manager for a gaming brand at CP. Roy, together with Gal Ron of Conversionpros, founded the iFXEXPO and they assigned me to work alongside Roy as assistant producer on that venture. We enjoyed a very successful launch of the, today, globally-recognized FX industry event.

At that time, Forexmagnates was an instrumental partner to both ConversionPros and the iFXEXPO. After the successful launch of the Expo, the two CEO’s, Gal Ron and Michael Greenberg, decided that I should run a project they had founded together, the FM Directory. They appointed me as “Head of Directory” with full responsibility for all aspects of the portal. It was a great opportunity for me and Michael and Gal deserve my thanks, and a lot of credit, for having faith in me and for giving me that chance so early on in my career.

The FM Directory took me on a 4-year journey, exposing me to many aspects of the industry, and my interest in FX subsequently grew alongside my network of clients. I met with many senior industry professionals and companies over the years, growing my desire to further challenge myself and to experience, and learn, a new side of the industry. Whilst I really enjoyed my time with CP and FM, an opportunity arose to join an established and well-respected company, Advanced Markets/Fortex, and I simply couldn’t refuse. I felt that the time was right to take the next step and I’m relishing this new chapter in my FX career.”

Quyen: “Taking experiences from your professional football career, do you see any similarity between football and Forex? Why?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “Yes, they are two very competitive industries and currencies are always moving up or down, just like fortunes on the football pitch or league positions. There are a few SNB-type events and flash-crashes in football too, and things can change very quickly in both industries.  In football we used to say, “You’re only as good as your last game”, so I’m aiming to stay on my toes and keep my head down in this FX business just as I did on the football pitch. Interestingly, I notice that Sport and Football Sponsorships increased in our sector last year, collaboration by the two sectors to reach a new global audience.”

Quyen: “Bjorn you have been nominated as the Best Industry Networker, so my question is: What is Networking for you?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “To engage with people on a much larger scale, either in-person or online, and to show genuine interest, by listening as well by giving my own views (and solutions) on a particular topic. Personally, I enjoy building new relationships and engaging in collaborations that have resulted from active networking.”

Quyen: “Moving onto a different topic, what is your vision of the FX market on the long-term?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “Technology and Marketing is driving the industry today and the future direction of the FX industry is hard to predict. I also think that the industry is ever-changing and evolving, partly as a result of some of the major events of the last few years.

Regulations have shaped a new path ahead and some market sectors and companies have unfortunately fallen off the road along the way. I believe, however, that the wise and the strong will survive and that we will eventually see a fair, more transparent, non-manipulated and regulated industry in the future.”

Quyen: “That’s an interesting vision of the FX Market. What do you think, what can be improved in the FX industry and how would you do it?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “I think transparency can improve and it’s currently being helped by the changes in regulations.

I would also definitely look into minimizing risk on capital exposure by implementing higher, minimum STP criteria, where (B Book) brokers are required to offset a greater portion of their risk.  I would also seek to implement greater regulation of marketing. There are simply too many false and deceiving messages being promoted and these, in my opinion, are damaging the reputation of the retail Forex industry. When all is said and done, this false advertising tends to have the opposite effect to what was originally intended.”

Quyen: “I am impressed by your football career and in some sense also jealous. But what about your current job? What brought you to AM/ Fortex?”

Bjorn Enqvist: My first encounter with Advanced Markets occurred in my first Cyprus expo in 2012. I got to meet the founder, and CEO, Anthony Brocco. He left a lasting impression on me as a likeable, trustworthy and straight-talking guy and it will be great to see him again when he takes part in the CEO round table at the upcoming FM London Summit.

Daniel Chen, the CEO of Fortex, and I got to know each other through the previous project I was working on, where Fortex had been promoted since its beginning. By the way, their success story is really much more impressive than people realize. 

Natallia Hunik also played an instrumental role in the whole process. She is an impressive professional, with excellent managerial, organizational and mentoring skills far beyond her years.

So, I would have to answer this question by saying that the deciding factor for me had to be the people and the overall philosophy of the two companies, the strong foundations they are built upon, all combined with the high quality product that we offer the industry.

When presented with the opportunity by Natallia, all of this made the decision very easy for me.”

Quyen: “Bjorn, what makes you stand out in networking? What is the key essence of your approach?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “I truly enjoy meeting new people and learning about their businesses and I try to approach every person objectively, no matter their position or stature. I will always show genuine interest in people and their achievements. I also like to help to connect people/clients with new business opportunities and this, more often than not, leads to return business.”

Quyen: “What about your achievements to date? What is it that you are the most proud of in your Forex careeer?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “It’s difficult to say, as I don’t think I have achieved that much yet, but I’m proud of my switch from football to FX. It’s never easy to retire and start again. Unfortunately, many footballers struggle after their careers.”

Quyen: “Lastly, is there anything you can advise to people freshly entering into the brokerage side of the retail FX?”

Bjorn Enqvist: “Apply a long term strategy and come prepared (strong capital backing helps of course). We do, however, see clients with smaller budgets starting Brokerages with us and growing them successfully. Build with quality, with a long-term vision and with a sound and secure foundation.

If I was operating a Retail broker today I would apply an online “Performance Marketing” model and I would concentrate on the overall user experience, including excellent client support, education for the traders and retention programs. To differentiate, (and if money was no object) I would aim to reach new target markets by emotionally connecting to a new audience through partnerships with sports stars, celebrities or similar role models or at famous events with a view to spreading both brand awareness and prestige and, in the process, hopefully connecting the audience with your brand. 

In my opinion, high pressure sales tactics will soon be a thing of the past and global regulators are monitoring that aspect of the business very closely. In the long term, if you burn your client, you effectively burn your own business and reputation.”

Do you know any other Forex Industry experts qualifying the 40 Future Forex Leaders under 40 nomination? Contact us.

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