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Exclusive interview with Mr. Bal Krishen, CEO of Century Financial Brokers

Global Banking & Finance Awards® 2018 Winner- Century Financial Brokers

Century Financial Brokers has been in operation for 29 years. How has the industry evolved over the years?

Bal Krishen, CEO of Century Financial Brokers
Bal Krishen, CEO of Century Financial Brokers

Just like many other industries, Technology has revolutionized the way the financial intermediary industry works. Century has witnessed a huge transformation from close quarters. Buying and selling of shares used to be a cumbersome process and sometimes even took more than a week through a communication medium called Telex which was very much prone to human errors. Today all transactions take place electronically with a high degree of transparency and settlement process is very fast. Financial markets have never been this good.

What trends do you see taking place currently in the Market?

Rising sovereign yields across the globe, strong US dollar precipitating FX volatility in emerging markets, political as well as economic concern around US/China trade war and Gold rallying around these concerns are the major themes dominating the market. The rising cost of money on account of a hawkish US Federal reserve has triggered a correction in equity markets across the world. Investors seem to be in a risk off mode.

What markets do you currently have available for traders?

We offer traders and investors over 10,000 instruments across equities, commodities, FX and treasury futures. Investors will be able to get exposure to equities from North America including United States, Japan, Europe and Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong. For those inclined to take a macro approach, ETFs are available spanning across a wide variety of sectors ranging from Gold, US technology and pharmaceuticals, European equities, Agro commodities to Indian small cap sector.

Can you tell us about the technology behind your Next Generation Trading Platform and the advantages traders experience?

In addition to 80 in-built technical indicators for chart analysis and multiple order types, the advanced technology enables study of client sentiment, 1-click trading and seamless trading across mobile and a web-based platform. The platform also helps traders and investors to stay on the top of breaking economic news events from financial markets.

 What are the risk management features available?

The features available for risk management include stop loss and trailing stop loss orders as well as a guaranteed stop-loss order (GSLO) facility. This means the trader will not have to watch the positions all the time. Well, they can go and have fun while the platform manages the risk for them.

How do your advisors support clients in achieving their financial goals?

At the beginning itself the risk profile of the client is studied, and they are broadly classified as aggressive, moderate and conservative. Strategies and portfolios are then custom made for each client segment. Advisors are supported by a research team that develops high probability quantitative strategies through back testing and trading ideas are also generated through chart analysis.

How important do you feel trading education is? What options do you have available for new and experienced traders?

Empowering our clients through insightful research, personalized training and group seminars is a norm at century. We believe that these will help investors in making an informed decision.

We organise regular seminars for new and experienced traders, if fact we have seminars every week addressing various topics that cater to new and experienced traders. For the experienced traders we have advanced technical analysis sessions once every fortnight.

In addition to the seminars, our customers get regular emailers and market alerts that are linked to major economic events.

What advice do you have for those who are interested in trying to trade for the first time?

 Investors should be diversified across asset classes and geographies. Today with the advent of technology, it is possible for investors to create a globally diversified portfolio from UAE itself. Those with not much knowledge of equities should try to get exposure through index funds or ETF’s. I would also urge people near retirement age to deploy an over helming proportion of their assets in safe, liquid funds.

What are your plans for further development?

Our growth projections are both lateral and vertical. For lateral growth our focus is on integration across various financial services. High on our agenda is expansion through mergers & acquisitions and ultimately looking to go public