This month we celebrate our 10th Anniversary here at Foremost Currency Group.
We thought it was time to catch up with Managing Director Robin McEwen, to see how Foremost Currency Group has grown over the last decade.
Why did you choose to setup a foreign currency exchange company?
The foreign exchange market is enormous but I knew that I could provide a better service to clients and save them money, being more transparent and honest. The banks were not specialising in this sector and there was limited competition.
It also excited me; the markets moving second by second affected by local and international news, as well as being able to help clients make their dreams come true as usually the transactions were for clients who were buying a holiday home in the sun.
Was it difficult to setup a currency company?
No it wasn’t difficult from a motivational point of view. The hardest bit was getting everything in to place to be able to begin doing what I knew I would be good at, saving clients money and making the process simple.
Once the green light was given I have never looked back. I never have that ‘back to work’ Monday morning feeling! I was lucky to have an excellent founding team – having the right people in place meant that we were able to offer outstanding customer service right from the start.
How many staff did you start off with?
There were three of us at the beginning, my brother, Elliot McEwen, who ran the treasury side and Adam Bobroff who is now the Director of Foreign Exchange.
What was the FX Market like in 2005?
The USD was around 1.75 to the pound compared with 1.52 now and the Euro was not far off what we saw a few months ago, 1.45/1.46. The Swiss Franc has got to be one to mention 2.28 back then, now 1.48, nearly a 50% move!
How have you seen your company grow over the 10 years?
The transformation has been phenomenal. It’s hard to believe what it was like when we first started. In our first office we didn’t have any heating and I remember buying fingerless gloves for us all so we could still dial the numbers on the telephone in winter! We have grown steadily over the 10 years.
Our turnover will be in excess of £350 million this financial year and there are 30 people working here now. One thing that hasn’t changed though is the personal service that our clients receive – we’ve managed to stay true to our roots.
Where did the idea of Foremost Property Group come from?
In 2007 I set up Foremost Property Group. It was a great way of supporting our global network of estate agents, helping generate business for them which in turn they would direct back to us, when they referred their clients, so that we could assist them with their currency exchange.
It completed the circle of generating business for all parties involved and cemented relationships. Foremost Property Group is now a leading UK-based overseas property portal listing around 80,000 properties worldwide.
How important was it to be FCA authorised?
It was a must and that was the way the industry was heading. Regulation is the back bone of what we do. The security of our clients’ funds has always been of paramount importance to us and the recent attainment of our Emoney Licence demonstrates our commitment to this.
We also give our clients increased confidence with the 2A1 credit rating that Dun & Bradstreet has assigned to us. This shows both our strong financial strength as well as our extremely low risk of business failure.
Has the business gone the way you expected it to?
No, it has exceeded my expectations. The team that I have recruited have been dedicated and loyal and as the staff turnover is incredibly low, my clients get to build relationships with the brokers that last for years.
We have our own inhouse Marketing Department, Treasury Team, IT Team and Finance. It’s like a big family and I think this is one of the reasons for our success.
What has been your biggest success in the last 10 years?
Getting married and having my daughter, Jemma, but I think you are referring to work matters. Purchasing our office in Tring and being able to provide a stable work environment for the 30 people who currently work here. I always said that Foremost Currency Group was about the Team and not just me, I just help to steer the ship in the right direction.
What does the future hold for Foremost Currency Group?
We are in exciting times. We have never truly operated outside of a recession and have managed to grow to the size we are. We are extremely well placed in terms of experience, breadth and depth of staff, financially and regulatory.
We have some innovative ideas which we will be introducing over the next twelve months and I am extremely optimistic that we will continue to go from strength to strength.
About Foremost Currency Group
“We are committed to shaking up currency exchange by operating in a smarter, leaner and more efficient way, passing the savings onto you and getting you a better rate – every time you trade. Say goodbye to impersonal service and hello to your new dedicated broker. Committed to working on your behalf to get you the very best deal possible.”
Robin McEwen, Managing Director
For further information, interviews or imagery, please contact:
01442 892 060