Exclusive: Hisham Mansour of CFI on retail trading, cryptos, expansion, CX, and more

FNG Exclusive Interview… Continuing our series of conversations with leading figures in the Retail FX sector, we’re pleased to speak today with Hisham Mansour, Founder and Managing Director at UAE based CFI Financial Group Holding Limited.

FNG: Hi Hisham, and thanks for joining us today. Please let us know a little more about CFI, its core offerings and products, and what makes CFI special.

Hisham: Thank you for having me. The CFI Financial Group is a leading online trading provider with over 23 years of experience and several regulated entities around the world including London, Larnaca, Dubai, Beirut, Amman, Port Louis, and others.

Our vision is to become the go-to brand for all things trading and investing and to accomplish that, we offer trading on over 11,000 Stocks, Forex Pairs, Commodities, Indices, ETFs, and Cryptocurrencies across 19 global markets as well as variations on Stocks including the ability to trade them as CFDs or traditional ownership for the full exchange-based experience. This is a recently launched product that caters to ever-increasing demand by financial markets enthusiasts for a flagship product.

Beyond our product offering, CFI definitely prides itself on its support and after-sales services including daily technical reports, free webinars, dedicated account managers, and a suite of platforms for different needs.

We have always been a client-centric company, listening to feedback, focusing on what traders need, and ultimately delivering a best-in-class trading experience. One example would be our current offering which puts us at the top in terms of what clients can trade and the endless potential opportunities present on the spectrum. I would say this made CFI different from other providers out there.

FNG: Retail trading activity continues to see unprecedented high levels in 2021. What do you see as the key reasons and drivers for that?

Hisham: Clearly, the pandemic played a major role in shifting a large number of individuals towards the online world and that includes trading and investing. For many, the amount of extra time available for them pushed them to use it in a useful way and online trading was a great option for many who were waiting to tap into the financial markets.

Aside from that, the highly tech-savvy younger generation saw online trading from their phones as another addition to their daily app use. It quickly became a part of life for many especially with the rise of online communities and the pooling of investment ideas on different forums. I am referring to the recent case of GameStop which is a rare but increasingly occurring example of how retail traders can get together, ranging in size from tiny to those with thousands and millions and turning their love for a once booming company into an investment idea. Trading is no longer reserved for the enthusiasts only, it’s now something that links back to people’s preferences, characters, passions, and even hobbies and beliefs.

FNG: How does CFI see the issue of geographic expansion? Where do you see the greatest opportunities?

Hisham: We never stop investing in our infrastructure and technology. This has paid off time after time and has allowed us to scale everything from the number of products available for trading, which at this point, exceeds 11,000 to the number of platforms available, and everything in between. Additionally, that same stream of investments allowed us to expand in different regions at ease. The entire setup, anywhere we decide to go, is almost in a package form where we simply replicate what has been successful in the area we deem to be one that could create success for the group. Aside from being one of the biggest providers in the MENA region, we have expanded in Latin America, Africa, and Asia and continue to scale our operations in Europe. In other words, we cater to anyone, anywhere with the exception of a few select countries where we do not offer our operations.

FNG: We’ve noted that CFI has been investing heavily in CX and trading education. Please explain to us what that means to CFI.

Hisham: We believe in the importance of making sure everything is easily accessible at CFI while giving traders and investors a seamless experience from the moment they see our ads online to post-trade reporting and after-sales services that they might seek. Given the current age of technology, and that a large number of traders nowadays are millennials, attention spans have decreased, leading to a shift in what those individuals are looking for when starting out. While we divide the entire journey into pause-possible milestones, we do not aim to create many pit stops and instead, prefer a very simple and achievable approach. In other words, traders can quickly become CFI account holders and through a minimal and relatively fast process including selecting their account types while filling out the account application, downloading the platform, funding, trading, and ultimately seeking support if needed at any point.

Along the way, traders require resources and CFI does not disappoint with free webinars, daily in-house and third-party reports, powerful add-ons and tools, and a dedicated account manager that is available throughout the trading hours. Aside from offering the standards, we have assigned resources to expand our educational content with a multitude of short and long videos, 1-1 sessions, and a plethora of articles covering a broad range of topics. This is part of our strong conviction on the importance of helping traders develop their skills while learning basic and advanced topics. One of the worst enemies of traders is lack of education and this is common as beginners tend to jump into the market with minimal knowledge. Education is a very important topic and something that can make or break traders, and if we can provide them with the necessary knowledge to survive the volatile conditions, we would be working towards solidifying this relationship with our clients and making sure they are building a long-term mentality and one that can improve their chances of success in the markets.

FNG: Do you see cryptocurrencies as a core product for CFI, and retail brokers as a whole? How do you see the future of crypto trading?

Hisham: The rise of cryptocurrencies is not unnoticed. Indeed, more providers are adding it to their offering and it’s quickly becoming one of the most traded assets out there. CFI has integrated cryptocurrencies with highly competitive trading conditions and it’s already proving to be a great success. There’s an important factor when it comes to trading cryptocurrencies with CFI and that is the regulation. Being regulated creates additional peace of mind for those looking to speculate on this fairly new asset class that has been previously plagued by scams and mishaps. CFI is offering this in the form of CFDs for those looking to trade as well as those looking to hold and with no catch. The flexibility is there and plays its role in catering to the needs of the different types of traders.

FNG: What else can we expect to hear from CFI in the coming months?

Hisham: More expansions, additional products, and a continuing journey towards providing a top-notch trading experience to the entire world. This sums up CFI’s ambitions and milestones that have shaped the company’s vision so far and hints at what lies ahead.

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