I firmly believe that when you open up investing across borders, wonderful things can start to happen for investors, firms and even entire economies. That’s the reason why we at Apex are making international expansion one of our top goals.
I was recently named General Manager of International Fintech for Apex, and in this role I will help guide our strategy, find suitable clients and partners, and navigate the regulations and guidelines we will have to meet to ensure we operate transparently and safely. But it’s also a personal passion of mine: As a native of Ghana who came to the U.S. 25 years ago, I have seen firsthand in my regular visits back home how the middle class has grown but has lacked investing options – a trend I observed in many developing economies around the world, and one that has effects broader than just those on personal wealth.
Apex’s international strategy: Why it matters
Making a concerted effort to expand our international reach aligns with both the business goals and overall mission of Apex. We already work with some international firms, which gives us experience and insights we can use as we move forward.
Our initial efforts will focus on more mature markets, where we can refine our offering and work within well-established financial systems. These markets stretch across all continents – anywhere there is significant market activity, and where we are permitted to do business from a legal and regulatory perspective. From these beachheads, we will be able to seek out opportunities in emerging and developing markets.
Based on my experience, I believe that there is a craving among the middle classes for access to US and other mature markets that are liquid and growing. People in overseas markets sometimes may be limited to investing in their local exchanges, which often are less liquid, or to investing in real estate. By offering Apex services internationally, I am confident we can create opportunities at many levels:
- Global investors can benefit from access to new investment opportunities, allowing them more choice and control over their personal wealth-building activity and the possibility of greater returns.
- Apex clients will be able to expand their footprint into new markets, allowing their existing investor base to invest in more places and in more ways, and allowing them to bring on new customers from other countries.
- Foreign fintechs can innovate and level the playing field by partnering with Apex and benefitting from our robust suite of services. Developing and emerging markets are hotbeds of creative business ideas, and with the right tools these firms can increase their opportunities for growth and success.
- Foreign economies may even benefit from the increase in their citizens’ wealth and the success of locally-based fintechs. A wealthier, more secure middle class will be able to bring their assets home and spend them in the local economy, which could create a ripple effect that will touch real estate, merchants, and other local businesses.
Using Apex’s experience to overcome challenges
If it were simple to offer cross-border investing, of course, everyone would do it. But significant investments in time and effort are needed to make it work. Apex is working through these challenges, putting into play our experience as a tech innovator and as a partner of some of the most successful fintechs in the world. We will use that experience to ensure we develop systems that are transparent, compliant, and equitable. Some of the challenges include:
- Aligning with all local regulations and laws for trading, and ensuring trades across borders are legal and correctly recorded in all jurisdictions involved.
- Ensuring that the identity of all customers is transparent to help prevent fraud and criminal activity.
- Taking steps to ensure local economies benefit from the investments of their citizens, so that assets don’t leave a country permanently.
I was drawn to America because I wanted to be where I could help create new innovations and solve complex problems. After years working at a number of giant financial firms, I came to Apex because I could sense the excitement of building something new with a small, dedicated, empowered team. And now with this new international strategy, I am excited that I can play a role in bringing an opportunity for personal and professional success to people around the world.