Meet Simon Andras – The Mastermind Behind the Merger of APAC's Latest FX Broker Powerhouse

<p dir="ltr">The FX industry has grown increasingly competitive in 2023-2024, with many brokers facing a number of challenges related to sustained success and growth. Despite these concerns facing brokers, Connext has consistently made a name for itself through <a href="" target="_blank" rel="follow">quality service and transparency</a>. Finance Magnates spoke with Connext’s CEO Simon Andras for his perspective and insights surrounding the company and his own rise in the industry.</p><p dir="ltr">It is a pleasure to speak with you today Simon. Can you first tell me a little about yourself and what you do at Connext?</p><p dir="ltr">I'm currently turning my once-dreamed vision into reality, and this endeavor keeps me motivated 24/7. We have just merged our company brands into a single entity, Connext. On a personal level, I have also just accepted the CEO position at Connext with the FSA. I am committed to spreading my personal aspirations beyond ConnextFX’s global success. Rather, this is about upholding the high standards I’ve established for the management. Most importantly, we look forward to many initiatives in the coming years.</p><p dir="ltr">How did you begin your career in the FX industry, and what skills do you need to succeed in it?</p><p dir="ltr">My journey began, like that of many others, driven by a desire to explore and grasp new investment opportunities. Already immersed in the business and investment world for over eight years, primarily in real estate, I had established a robust portfolio in various Hungarian cities. Seeking investments with quicker returns than traditional real estate or stocks, I ventured into the world of Forex.</p><p dir="ltr">As a novice trader, I underwent diverse training sessions and encountered failures before tasting initial success in the industry. This journey inspired me to establish a training school, aiming to guide others through their challenges and liberate them from routine failures and jobs. Consequently, I achieved the distinction of running one of the most successful forex training schools in Hungary and collaborating with prominent brokers.</p><p dir="ltr">In my perspective, success in forex doesn't necessarily demand innate skills; rather, it necessitates diligent work, continuous learning, and the persistence to endure until success is attained. While this sentiment may sound cliché, it holds true based on experience and transcends various aspects of life. </p><p dir="ltr">The temptation for immediate triumph often leads many traders to abandon their journey prematurely. However, in both life and forex, true progress comes from learning from each failure and avoiding the repetition of mistakes, ultimately shaping a trader into a proficient and resilient individual.</p><p dir="ltr">Could you share any major achievements or stories that were particularly significant to your career growth?</p><p dir="ltr">Certainly! At the age of 22, I achieved a significant milestone by becoming the youngest team and sales leader in one of the largest Swiss &amp; Hungarian real estate companies. By 26, I had successfully built a diverse portfolio of real estate and stocks, providing me with the freedom to explore opportunities on a global scale. </p><p dir="ltr">This journey led me to the dynamic world of forex, where my unwavering goal was to collaborate with major brokers, gaining valuable insights from both positive and negative experiences.</p><p dir="ltr">Throughout my FX career, several achievements stand out as pivotal to my career growth. One notable transition was moving from being an IB to registering my first substantial investor client as an account manager. Securing a major MIB partnership from Southeast Asia was another significant accomplishment. </p><p dir="ltr">Establishing a tied agent office under FCA in Hungary, despite its challenges, marked a crucial step in aligning with regulatory expectations. Furthermore, guiding individuals from their initial foray into the industry, witnessing their progression over the years, and ultimately observing them emerge as influential leaders across diverse sectors and companies, has not only been a source of immense pride but also a gratifying testament to the impact of mentorship on long-term professional development.</p><p dir="ltr">Last but not least, currently, I am deeply engaged in the rewarding process of building my own brokerage from scratch. This journey represents not only personal growth but also embodies the spirit of perseverance and the limitless possibilities that come with determined pursuit of one's dreams. It's a testament to the belief that hard work, dedication, and a forward-looking vision can lead to remarkable achievements in one's career.</p><p dir="ltr">What were the key challenges and learning experiences at the start of your Forex industry career?</p><p dir="ltr">Broadly speaking, I already had some familiarity with forex as an IB running a training school. However, my understanding of the industry was somewhat limited, and I was not acquainted with the intricacies of the market players. </p><p dir="ltr">The real challenge, and simultaneously the most enlightening part of my journey, came from immersing myself within broker companies. It was a profound learning experience, delving into the inner workings of the system. My primary motivation for joining brokers was to eventually establish my own, making this learning path an essential and challenging step towards that ultimate goal.</p><p dir="ltr">Can you tell me about the new appointment at Connext? What was the impetus behind jumping from a bigger brand to a smaller one?</p><p dir="ltr">Throughout my journey, the ultimate goal and endpoint were consistently clear. During my extensive tenure with prominent brands, spanning over 12 years, my primary focus was to meticulously understand their strengths and weaknesses. </p><p dir="ltr">I devoted this substantial timeframe to learning, accumulating valuable experience, and acquiring in-depth knowledge of the industry. When the opportune moment arrived, I harnessed this wealth of experience and insight to embark on the fulfilling endeavor of building a brand from scratch.</p><p dir="ltr">Contrary to conventional career moves from larger entities to smaller ones, this transition aligned precisely with my aspirations. It wasn't about scaling down, but rather about manifesting precisely what I envisioned. This shift represented the realization of a long-cherished dream, where the culmination of years spent learning from industry giants culminated in the creation of a brand, imbued with the wisdom garnered from the entirety of my professional journey.</p><p dir="ltr">What makes Connext unique in terms of its offering or personnel relative to the rest of the industry?</p><p dir="ltr">Connext offers a comprehensive range of services under one umbrella, a unique proposition not commonly found among other brands. While our competitors and reputable brands may provide individual services or solutions, the integration of all these offerings is rare, if not nonexistent, for IBs in Vietnam or any other part of the world. </p><p dir="ltr">Foremost among these offerings is the Connext Copytrading app for Android and iOS, affording IBs the opportunity to connect with their clients, deliver services through the app, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="follow">share trading experiences, engage in discussions, and follow each other</a>—whether they are master traders, skilled traders, or money managers.</p><p dir="ltr">Another significant advantage we provide to all our IBs is the autonomy to manage and own their business without constant approvals or interference from Connext. This sets us apart from other brokers where such involvement can impede growth. In Connext, our IBs have the freedom to shape their own FX business.</p><p dir="ltr">Furthermore, we prioritize FULL TRANSPARENCY for all our IBs. Unlike experiences with other brokers, where information sharing is limited, and the full picture often not disclosed, Connext ensures that the moment an IB registers, they gain complete access to view their business metrics, including trading positions, volume, profit or loss, deposits and withdrawals, number of registrations, and more. </p><p dir="ltr">This transparency empowers IBs to understand their earnings, assess business performance, and take necessary steps for improvement. This straightforward function and system make IBs more effective and foster long-term trust in our broker—an essential aspect for IBs and MIBs in our industry.</p><p dir="ltr">Last but not least, Connext provides a spectrum of options tailored to their needs and trading preferences. Trading conditions starting from a 0 spread, fast transaction executions, robust support, and an extensive education program. These client-centric features make Connext an appealing choice for traders, setting us apart from other forex brokers in the market.</p><p dir="ltr">How do you feel 2024 will be for the B2B and B2C space? Are there any industry headwinds you can foresee?</p><p dir="ltr">In essence, AI is the game-changer, much like the revolutionary impact of the first iPhone in 2007, altering our entire perspective and optimizing various aspects of life. Now, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to reshape our productivity, work methodologies, cognitive processes, organizational structures, and more.</p><p dir="ltr">The widespread acceptance of Generative AI in 2023 suggested its potential for cost reduction in both B2B and B2C sectors. Looking ahead in 2024, it is anticipated to play a pivotal role in enhancing process efficiency. Leveraging machine learning, AI can analyze business processes, pinpoint inefficiencies, and propose streamlined solutions with a simple click. This integration of AI tools may trigger a shift in job roles, with increasing expectations of AI proficiency becoming a daily necessity in various B2B and B2C positions.</p><p dir="ltr">For B2B companies, swift implementation of AI into daily operations or the creation of a dedicated department is imperative. This approach can enable the provision of more cost-effective services, implementation of new AI-suggested features, and the simplification of procedures, thereby enhancing overall B2B efficiency.</p><p dir="ltr">In the realm of B2C, AI should serve as a supportive guide in services, trading, education, and information. Clients who continue to engage in traditional trading methods without utilizing AI engine Apps are falling behind. In 2023, AI demonstrated only a fraction of its potential by swiftly accessing and presenting a usable source of information or solutions, emphasizing its transformative role.</p><p dir="ltr">However, significant obstacles persist, primarily stemming from a slow response to this crucial milestone in human history. Initiatives such as training programs and educational institutions focusing on collaborative AI work are essential. Businesses should establish dedicated departments for AI to enhance company performance, and individuals should familiarize themselves with AI, considering the increasing demand for AI expertise in 2024 and beyond. </p><p dir="ltr">While this transformative technology might lead to job transformations, it also holds the potential to create new Apps, businesses, plans, customer approaches, user-friendly interfaces, and other innovations, ultimately improving our lives and the experiences of B2B and B2C businesses.</p><p dir="ltr">What have been the biggest obstacles, and what keeps you motivated in this new role?</p><p dir="ltr">The primary challenge lies in ensuring that every member of the Connext team adheres to these standards. Even if they come from other FX brands, my goal is for them to quickly adapt to our company's distinctive style, where prioritizing clients and IB partners takes precedence over everything else. While it may not be easy, especially given that most employees are working remotely, this setup also serves as a significant advantage for Connext. We've brought on board professionals from around the world, working remotely, which affords them the freedom that many companies have withdrawn from their employees due to trust issues.</p><p dir="ltr">While this may sound idealistic or commercial, the reality is clear-cut. If we consistently ensure that our clients and partners receive unparalleled support, transparency, and the most favorable trading and business conditions for the long term, I genuinely believe there are no insurmountable obstacles preventing the company from succeeding and setting a new industry standard for years to come.</p><p dir="ltr">To conclude, what is your vision for Connext and the Forex market in general in 2024?</p><p dir="ltr">Connext and the broader forex industry must integrate AI as a fundamental organizational parameter to enhance efficiency, customer-friendliness, profitability, and more. In 2024, Connext is committed to setting an industry example by maintaining the remote work option for employees, fostering increased effectiveness, better results, and enhanced company loyalty.</p><p dir="ltr">Business-wise, our primary focus is on Southeast Asia and Latam, where our goal is to forge robust partnerships and cultivate trust among clients. We aim to boost registrations through innovative approaches, providing a unique experience not previously encountered in the market.</p><p dir="ltr">Motivated by a commitment to excellence, Connext seeks to position itself as a trailblazer in adopting AI and redefining workplace structures, all while concentrating efforts on strategic regions to nurture lasting relationships and innovative client experiences. This approach is pivotal in achieving long-term success and standing out as a trustworthy leader in the industry.</p><p dir="ltr">I would like to thank you for your time and perspective relating to both yourself and the company, and wish you a prosperous year ahead!</p>

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