Q. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself – what you did before Cambridge and what attracted you to the company?
A. Originally, I got into foreign exchange after university, working for a company called Custom House. I worked my way up the chain there. I worked in a variety of different field, but primarily as a foreign exchange (FX) trader. I was there through the acquisition by Western Union. From there, in early 2012, I went to HSBC.
My role at HSBC was a little bit different than my role at Custom House – it was a little broader. I worked on the global markets desk in Vancouver, covering mid-market to large corporate clients in the West – from Manitoba west – for their FX hedging needs but also having a broad discussion around interest-rate swaps, and even, for some of our customers, precious metal hedging.
I had to cover all aspects of global markets products for our customers, so although FX was the focus, we had to have discussions around interest rate swaps and money market products.
To answer the question about what brought me to Cambridge. It was the only non-bank provider I was interested in going to for a variety of reasons – one being the growth that had taken place. Also, from a competitive standpoint, they are the largest non-bank FX company in North America with a broad product offering.
A big part of it, really, was working again with some of the people I had worked with at Custom House that I had a lot of respect for and that I had a great relationship with. It makes a big difference when you work well with your colleagues and the trust and respect is there.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about your outside interests, the kind of thing you do when you’re not at Cambridge?
A. I have two kids, so they keep me pretty busy – I have a four-year-old and a one-year-old. Other than that, I like to be active – running, hiking, basketball – really anything active. Also, a little bit of golf – but not that well. We also like to travel, although vacations have changed a little now with two kids.
Q. How would you describe your role at Cambridge?
A. I’m on the risk management team, primarily covering accounts in North America, but for the most part in Western Canada and the Western US. I’d say my role is managing a book of clients, as I have over the years, but now at Cambridge it’s with a heavier percentage of risk management accounts. Also, I work with sales guys, across North America, trying to close risk-management opportunities. The third part of my role, I’d say, is helping my colleagues in the execution of options – pricing of options, helping the other guys in the Vancouver office – and around North America.
Q. What, in very broad terms, is risk management in foreign exchange? How does it work and why should companies with forex exposure engagement in risk management?
A. Risk management in foreign exchange is trying to mitigate the risk you have in your portfolio. You might be a receiver of US dollars (USD) and all your payroll is in Canadian (CAD), you might have to report everything in US dollars. You’re taking a certain risk that the currency is going to move in your favor. Risk management is hedging against an adverse movement in that currency that would affect your business in a negative way. It’s taking the foreign exchange risk off the table, so you can focus on securing your profit margin, focus on running your business, and not having to worry that you’re going to start incurring a loss if the currency moves against you.
Some of our customers, depending on the industry, have extremely slim margins. For them, it’s very prudent to ensure they’re securing profit on every transaction they make.
One thing I stress to customers if they’ve never hedged before is that people always get wrapped up in getting the best rate, but I think hedging isn’t about that, it’s really about taking the risk off the table and securing your profit margins.
Q. What, in your mind, differentiates the hedging services that Cambridge offers from that of competitors?
A. I would say the biggest difference is that we take a broader approach here at Cambridge, we’re a little bit more in depth. We get involved at the prospect stage, or with a new customer, help them create a risk-management policy, which allows them to be more proactive. You end up getting more ingrained with their business, and pitching them different ideas, as opposed to when I was at the bank, where you have 200 + clients and you’re more reactive.
At a bank, you’d very seldom see a sales person helping with a risk-management policy for a company.
“Cambridge Global Payments” is a trade name, which in this document refers specifically to one or more of these legal entities: Cambridge Mercantile Corp., Cambridge Mercantile Corp. (U.S.A.), Cambridge Mercantile Corp. (Nevada), Cambridge Mercantile (Australia) Pty. Ltd.
Cambridge Global Payments (“Cambridge”) provides this document as general market information subject to: Cambridge’s copyright, and all contract terms in place, if any, between you and the Cambridge entity you have contracted with. This document is based on sources Cambridge considers reliable, but without independent verification. Cambridge makes no guarantee of its accuracy or completeness. Cambridge is not responsible for any errors in or related to the document, or for damages arising out of any person’s reliance upon this information. All charts or graphs are from publicly available sources or proprietary data. The information in this document is subject to sudden change without notice.
Cambridge may sell to you and/or buy from you foreign exchange instruments (including spot and/or derivative transactions; both kinds are here called “FXI”s) covered by Cambridge on a principal basis.
This document is NOT: 1) Advice of any kind, or 2) Approved or reviewed by any regulatory authority, or 3) An offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any FXIs, or to participate in any trading strategy.
Before acting on this document, you must consider the appropriateness of the information, based on your objectives, needs and finances. For advice, you must contact someone independent of Cambridge.
Certain FXIs mentioned in this document may be ineligible for sale in some locations, and/or unsuitable for you. Contact your Cambridge representative for further information regarding product availability/suitability before you enter into any FXI contract.
FXIs are volatile and may cause losses. Past performance of a FXI product cannot be relied on to determine future performance.
This document is intended only for persons in Canada, the US, and Australia. This document is not intended for persons in the UK or elsewhere in the EEA. In Australia, this publication has been distributed by Cambridge Mercantile (Australia) Pty. Ltd. (ABN 85 126 642 448, AFSL 351278); for the general information of its customers (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001). This entity makes no representations that the products or services mentioned in this document are available to persons in Australia or are necessarily suitable for any particular person or appropriate in accordance with local law.
Fees may be earned by Cambridge (and its agents) in respect of any business transacted with Cambridge.
The document is intended to be distributed in its entirety. Unless governing law permits otherwise, you must contact the applicable Cambridge if you wish to use Cambridge services to enter a transaction involving any instrument mentioned in this document.
© Copyright 2018, Cambridge Mercantile Corp., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, on any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Cambridge Mercantile Corp. See www.cambridgefx.com for contact details.