Global Reach Partners
Company: Global Reach Partners Founded: 2001 Based: London Website: www.globalreach-partners.com
Who are you?
Mark Smith-Halvorsen, managing director of Global Reach Partners.
What do you do?
We provide commercial foreign currency hedging services to businesses, and international payments and currency support services to private individuals. In addition we provide cash to an expanding clientele to assist with their overseas travel.
What does that mean in practice?
90% of our business revolves around the financial decision-makers in large, small and medium-sized businesses – financial directors, CFOs and treasury managers, for example. They have a number of ongoing business objectives and issues to manage and, for many, looking after international payments and their companies’ foreign exchange or currency risk is just one of them, so we act as an outsourced foreign exchange consultancy. We offer market information and a range of trading alternatives, and web-based solutions on a one-to-one basis.
What size of company suits you?
We work with companies in all sectors and across all marketplaces. We’re most effective in the top half of the SME market through to FTSE 350 companies, because we’ve found this is the area in which high street business banks most consistently fail to offer effective treasury solutions. We also look after smaller businesses and talk to their owners and drivers, as well as dealing with financial decisions at board level. I guess you could say we deal with all types!
Why should I care?
As a financial decision-maker, your job includes being a guardian of your company’s funds as well as enhancing and protecting profitability. Effectively protecting the company from foreign currency market risk wherever it exists is a must. If you’re going to achieve those things you should care about what we offer.
What can you do for me that I can’t do for myself?
Many of the professionals we have as clients have a good feel for the financial markets and keep track of foreign currency rates, but that’s not enough to consistently make smart decisions and to optimise timing. They have often relied on their bank – the most traditional route – but the banks’ services are very reactive and often not set up to deliver bespoke information in this area. We act on a proactive basis and help our clients to get it right for far less time and hassle.
What mistakes will you stop me from making?
People will often focus on what rates they can get, but the timing and method that you go to market with is much more key. Also, most companies are stuck in a rut whereby they will only buy currency when they need to settle an invoice, for example. You should be hedging that exposure by buying currency when rates are in a particularly good position for you.
Can you give me an example?
We’re currently working with a public listed company that regularly needs to purchase a large amount of US dollars to pay for goods. We’ve managed to optimise their market timing through the use of forward contracts. This has enhanced the profitability of a number of big deals they had going on and will give them an advantage in terms of the price at which they’ll be able to offer their goods in the immediate future.
Why should I trust you?
We’ve been in business for nine years and can provide some glowing testimonials, including one from our first ever client. We’re FSA supervised, registered as a money services business and act strictly in accordance with the UK money laundering rules and regulations.
What will it cost?
We don’t charge for our services, systems or people; we do offer an extremely competitive solution. We’re a risk averse business which means we individually assess our clients’ requirements – which sometimes means they need to pay a margin or deposit against a forward contract – but the truth is we pass on some fantastic rates on a regular basis.