Roberto d’Ambrosio, the CEO of Axiory Global, speaks about the challenges of 2020 and the opportunities for 2021
How was 2020 for the industry and your company?
2020 has been a year that brought a lot of challenges in any social and economic sector. The Covid 19 Black Swan was, and still is, a disruptive event that hardly impacted on the health and wellbeing of so many families, with so many loved ones sadly been missing, and on the global economy at all levels.
The level of negative impact was not leveled among all industries, with some suffering the most, like the travel and tourism industries, and some actually thriving on the increased demand induced by the new reality, like video communication and online related services. The brokerage industry has on average performed well in such a situation, confirming the resilience and low correlation of the brokerage industry with the overall economic cycle.
Within the industry, those firms that already had a high level of readiness to structural and operational changes and a real people-centric approach, towards their own people and clients alike, and sound yet flexible business continuity plans performed really well, and Axiory is among those companies. The whole firm adapted instantly, leveraging on the culture of the firm which was already revolving around flexibility and care for people and all stakeholders, and the extra mile was run by all of us. I could not be prouder of all of them.
What sort of opportunities did 2020 bring along?
The main opportunity I might mention is the possibility to actually see our strategy goals being accelerated as we had confirmation, induced by the unfolding crisis, that our assumptions were correct. The positive outcomes we were expecting from our approach to doing our business, based on transparency, strict compliance procedures, sound risk management framework, asset security, and the mentioned focus on people, were actually accelerated by the crisis and has put us in a competitive advantage to the majority of our competitors.
Did you face any challenges in 2020?
The main challenge has been that to immediately adapt the short-medium term strategy in terms of the expansion of our business, which was largely focused on localised expansion worldwide. We had to reallocate our resources, favouring the care for our Clients by increasing even further the level of support to them, even if that impacted the projected timeline (and earning) from such expansion.
The lack of possibility to travel and directly meet potential partners and regulators needed a different approach to our global expansion, which we were still able to pursue, also focusing even more on our project regarding our existing local operations, our representative office in UAE is the most important one for us.
What were your key achievements in 2020?
We were able to successfully tackle all challenges induced by the pandemic and perform really well in all aspects of the business, including the business generation and ultimately financial performance which is going to be outstanding. But let me say, again, that experiencing how our company culture and people-centric approach has helped us to achieve such results is definitely our main and most important achievement.
Without this approach, we would not have been able to navigate these troubled times in such an efficient way and allow us to create programs to sustain the less fortunate and most impacted people within the jurisdictions in which we operate in. The whole company has enthusiastically contributed to creating relief programs and deliver aids to those in need.
We take great pride in being attentive to the environment we operate in, not focusing all our attention and effort on financial success which, although very important and definitely not neglected, only represents one of the elements we consider in judging our Firm as successful.
What promises does 2021 bring along?
I believe that 2021 will still be affected by the consequences of the pandemic and that return to normality will be gradual, will take time, and still exposed to downside risks, but the situation is set to become better and we will be able to resume and speed up all the expansion projects we have in mind. I will personally focus much more on our UAE presence, for which I am evaluating a few opportunities to increase and rump up our presence, as early as the beginning of next year.
According to you, which technologies will be in demand in 2021?
5G is going to allow mobile services that were simply not possible with the actual technologies and those Firms that will be able to effectively leverage the possibility of this technology will see their services in very high demand, irrespective of the evolution of the pandemic crisis and related restriction.
AI-related technologies will be at the centre of a revolution starting 2021, making many of the legacy processes obsolete. Those Firms that are not already working on implementing AI solutions to enhance the effectiveness of their operations and data intelligence activities are set to be at a chronic disadvantage to their competitors and catching up will be extremely difficult.
Axiory being a fintech company has a high awareness of such trends and is one of their early adopters. As an example, AI is used to enhance the strength and reliability of our KYC procedures, ensuring full compliance with the related regulation, and allowing more secure conduct of business.
A vital role in allowing firms to take full advantage of the mentioned technology is operating in a jurisdiction that has detected the disruptive potential of such technologies and the great competitive advantage of getting ready early, thus attracting the best projects and talents. The UAE is leading the way in this approach, with significant projects and programs being implemented to take full advantage of new opportunities. An outstanding leadership example really.
What will be your key focus areas for 2021?
As mentioned, we will focus on reaccelerating our Global expansion, adding new markets to our portfolio, and further enhancing the strength and resilience of our corporate structure. In this respect, the UAE is one of the most important areas I will be personally engaged in.
What milestones have you set for 2021?
To maintain the level of efficiency we demonstrated during 2020 and further increase our financial performance, at the same time increasing further the strength and resilience of our operations, still being in line with our core values. We will be expanding further in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to further enhance and diversify our clientele stream via our unique approach to delivering our services.
What would you like to do differently in 2021, when compared with 2020?
Be more effective in making sure that the uniqueness of our Firm is communicated appropriately to the general public, not only within our industry, and in expanding more our educational activities, which we provide to all those interested, as we believe that we have a duty to adequately inform and educate investors, no matter if they are our clients or not. Social responsibility is one of the values that we cherish the most.
Do you plan to enter new markets or add new products/applications to your portfolio in 2021?
As for the markets, I have already mentioned them above. As for the products, we have started a very challenging project of adding new instruments and technologies to our offer so to allow our clients access to state of the art technologies and much wider investment opportunities among different type of products so that they can fine-tune their trading and investment activities around their investment objective and risk/reward appetite.
New platforms will be also rolled out, following the demand from our clients. We have a very bottom-up approach to detecting our client’s needs, but we also try to look forward and be innovative. How could it be different: our company is made by very young and enthusiastic people, able and willing to create new concepts, products, and strategies.
Any other info you would like to add?
In 2021 Axiory brand will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. A very important milestone which we are planning to celebrate in the way that aligns the most with our core values: provide clients with the best and most secure trading environment possible, further enhance our already outstanding level of support to them, at the same time taking care of the people that make the company what it is.
A young, fresh, caring environment that is attracting the best talents in the industry, creating value in a sustainable way. Stay tuned, as our 10th-anniversary celebration will bring a lot of initiatives and new features which we are sure will delight our existing and prospective clients. We are determined to make 2021 a year to remember.