What do you currently do?
I am the Chairman of[ilink url=”http://www.activtrades.co.uk/?gclid=CI6b9YCazbgCFTMRtAodnhYA1A”]ActivTrades[/ilink] Plc, an online brokerage and system trading company.
What is your inspiration in business?
Customer focus and innovation are our key points. Every new product brought to the market is aimed at improving our clients trading experience. We have been the first broker able to hold client funds to set up an insurance policy that protects client deposits. We also have an innovative Rewards Programme unique in our industry that recognises and rewards our clients’ loyalty.
Who do you admire?
The only person who ever really influenced any of my behaviours and professional direction was my father, and the most important quality that he inspired in me with was recognising the value of our business relationships and how to prioritise the human factor against cold facts and figures.
Moreover, it was my father who made me discover the rudiments of stock broking and financial products when I was a teenager, and taught me to always look towards the USA. He would say: ‘Whatever works in the US will come to Europe in less than five years’ time’. And so it was with online trading.
Looking back, would you have done things differently?
Nothing at all, including all my mistakes, because they helped me to become who I am today.
What defines your way of doing business?
I like to get involved in all aspects of the company. We have several locations across Europe, and I like to spend a week at each of these alternately. Being hands-on with my business is paramount, and is something I learnt when starting out as a one-man-band. I like to be involved in all of the decisions, no matter how small; if mistakes are made, I’d rather be responsible than have to spend time correcting them.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
If I had to offer some advice to other entrepreneurs, I would say to make sure that you are 100 per cent focused. It is very exciting, and you get to drive something which is very reactive – but that means if something goes wrong, it’s on you.
To deal with that pressure, make sure you keep yourself in good physical shape – when you’re run down or not in good physical condition, it’s hard to make good decisions. but that’s the point: when you’re your own boss, you take full responsibility for what you’re doing, and that is incredibly rewarding.