The discreet insider who investigates and shares the sector's secrets and news
“I don't like discussing myself much” answered Michael Greenberg when asked to tell us more about himself and his career. Or maybe not. Maybe he knows the rules better than anyone and plays with them very well. Anyway, we know the essential: prior to creating Forex Magnates, Greenberg worked for an investment banking firm and a Forex software development company. But the Israeli businessman is not a trader anymore. “I used to trade stocks and options up until a few years ago when I lost most of my investment and realized I'm no good as a trader”, he admitted.
The Forex Person of The Year has been evolving in the finance and Forex world during several years, an experience which for sure helped him knowing who is who, how the business works, and all the twists and turns of our particular industry. At some point though, he felt the sector was missing a reliable and serious resource that would scrupulously scan and follow the industry latest events, trends and news. “Forex Magnates started when I realized that I was looking for information about the forex market but couldn't find any consistent and credible source of information (with the exception of Francesc's blog) which provided news and research about the industry”, recalls Greenberg. “Until Forex Magnates was created all you could find on the web was just advertising and mostly fake review sites. Information such as number of players, volumes, execution models, technology used, etc was next to impossible to find.”
There was a niche market, Michael Greenberg found it and started to work on it. Little by little, he built a blog which now is a real information website that he is still updating on his own and that all the professionals of the Forex business know, check and follow. Forex Magnates, “Home for the Forex Elite” as the website's tagline says, has been on the forefront of retail forex breaking news publishing for 3 years now and, since 2011, also in Turkish, Japanese and Chinese. Under “Retails” or “Institutional” sections, readers can find the latest industry breaking news and receive an in-depth analysis of latest events. Who bought who? What is the last product that has been launched by a broker? What are the currencies traded volumes in the last month? What company is investigated by regulatory bodies? What are the last financial results published by a Forex firm?
Michael Greenberg seems to know everything about everyone, before anyone else! But it's not a rumors place... He is well connected and has gained the trust of the industry's actors over time, and every information published on Forex Magnates is scrupulously double-checked. Finding the information is most of the time a complicated task, which makes the results even more noteworthy. “I would like to believe that Forex Magnates has contributed to increased transparency of this very secretive industry. It is almost impossible to acquire any information about this industry as for many reasons (being private companies is the least of them) nobody shares any credible information about what they do”, explains Michael. So how can the work be done in these conditions?
“The only publicly available sources of information are FXCM and Gain Capital as well as FxPro which released its prospectus sometime ago and now publishes select stats. Alpari infrequently publishes some stats as well. Other than that Forex Magnates utilizes access to hundreds of key decision makers and market participants to gather information and news which is then processed, double checked and only then released when there is no doubt that the information is accurate.” A real work of investigation journalism. A tremendous job that has impressed the industry actors to the point that Forex Magnates has become the first source information for them. Everyone wants to know what nobody wants to share publicly. Ironic again, isn't it?
Greenberg never puts himself in compromising situations though. He is trusted in the sector, because he respects his sources, while always following his commitment to pursue transparent information: “Unfortunately most of the information we come across will never be published as sometimes our sources provide us with information which they want us to know but not publish and we have respected these requests since inception and will continue doing so. This however does contribute to better understanding of the processes in this industry thus improving the quality of our commentary.”
At the beginning of 2011, Greenberg found there was another need that was not addressed in this “little researched industry” as he calls it. That's when he created his Quartelry report.“The idea came as a natural development of the Forex Magnates as a news source. While reading news is a great way of getting updated about what is going on in the industry on a daily basis, there was much demand for more professional and detailed research which would show a 'static' picture of the current status of the forex industry”, says the Forex Person of the Year. “Brokers, investment firms, banks and others were keen to see a quarterly summary of news and research and even a listing of all major providers which they could read and reference, thus the Forex Magnates Quarterly Forex Industry Report was born.” The report overviews latest market trends, trading volumes and developments in various regions. Since its launch, this unique resource was received very positively and has been acquired by few hundreds of market participants.
2012 has already started with much fuss for Forex Magnates, with the release of new design and the launch of the Forex Magnates Directory: “The Forex Magnates Directory will utilize our knowledge and connections to create the most comprehensive Forex Directory possible, both for Forex Traders and for Forex B2B market participants” comments Greenberg. “The idea is to concentrate information about all brokers and providers in one single source so you will not have to look further.”
Greenberg's mind seems tireless... So I've asked him his future projects, what Forex Magnates saucepan is cooking up and I was said that: “Going forward in 2012 there is a plan to launch several more researches and translate Forex Magnates into several other languages. I think it's enough information for now :)”. Closing as we opened: Michael Greenberg is a discreet and smart spirit who knows the price of information and has built a healthy, respected and now almost indispensable business on it. Welcome to the XXI century.
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