Hisham Mansour, founder and managing director of CFI Financial Group: CFI, at the forefront of AI-driven trading

Leading trading provider’s top executive speaks on the future of the firm and the industry
Hisham Mansour, founder and managing director of CFI Financial Group: CFI, at the forefront of AI-driven trading
Hisham Mansour, founder and managing director of CFI Financial Group

In the world of trading and investment – where data and numbers are key – Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a vital role in processing vast amounts of information to identify patterns, trends, and potential investment opportunities that might be invisible to the human eye.

AI trading, or algorithmic trading, involves using computer algorithms to execute trades by analyzing large amounts of financial data like historical prices and market trends. This method has become popular for its speed and accuracy in identifying market patterns, even surpassing human capabilities. Over time, AI trading has advanced, with machine learning making algorithms even more sophisticated. Today, technology helps traders make more informed decisions by processing data quickly. Ultimately, it enables the automation of trading strategies, allowing continuous market engagement.

The growing importance of AI in trading

According to The Business Research Company, the global AI trading market can reach a value of $28.59 billion in 2027. This reflects an annual growth rate of 12.2 percent. For the CFI Financial Group, one of the leading trading providers globally, AI is a central part of their strategy.

Technology has always been an important component of CFI’s operations. Boasting over 25 years of experience, they operate in major cities globally, including Dubai, Amman, Beirut, London and Port Louis.

“At CFI, we prioritize AI as a key element in our technology strategy, recognizing it as a transformative force for traders. AI is not just a tool for us; it’s a cornerstone in our commitment to innovation and providing unparalleled trading experiences,” remarked Hisham Mansour, founder and managing director of CFI Financial Group.

“For our clients, deploying cutting-edge AI tools, such as, FXBlue and the CFI AI Trading Assistant, is aimed at elevating our clients’ experience. These tools offer advanced analytics, and help traders make more informed decisions,” he added.

According to him, these tools empower traders to analyze the markets more effectively and execute precise backtesting strategies. Additionally, these are designed to assist traders in responding rapidly to information while minimizing the impact of human emotions when trading.

Mansour further remarked that by leveraging the capabilities of AI, CFI can enhance its platform’s decision-making processes, ensuring a competitive edge in predictive analytics and risk management. And this very technological edge also aids their expansion into new markets, catering to a wider audience with sophisticated, user-friendly trading solutions.

Read: GenAI, sustainable tech and more: Emerging technology trends

Staying competitive

Trading and retail investing are growing in the Middle East and North Africa region. In the United Arab Emirates, the Dubai Financial Market saw a significant increase in new investors, with 167,332 joining in 2022. As the number of retail investors rose 23 times, the stock exchange also recorded a 40-percent surge in profit. In the UAE and the broader region, this upward trend will be sustained as more IPOs or initial public offerings occur in the market.

With such a thriving landscape, the question of how CFI stays competitive vis-à-vis local players becomes even more relevant. However, Mansour offers a different view on competition and trying to get a slice of the pie in the region.

“A common misconception is that more competitors make it harder to compete. We don’t think like that at CFI. Our strategy in the competitive MENA market revolves around focusing on our unique offerings and reputation rather than the increasing competition. As a result, we have built a leading brand that offers highly competitive conditions, unmatched trading tools, and, most importantly, a trusted and unblemished reputation,” he said.

CFI AI assistant

Competitive edge

CFI’s competitive advantage stems from a meticulous focus on trading excellence, technological innovation and commitment to a customer-centric approach.

“We always say that our reputation is our biggest asset. With 25 years of industry expertise behind us, our offering reflects the optimal trading environment that CFI is renowned for,” he added.

While the market has experienced robust growth, the group’s strategic differentiation lies in its dedicated pursuit of excellence. By providing advanced tools and personalized services, we have firmly positioned ourselves as MENA’s leading broker, continuing to do so as their market witnesses even more significant growth. Today, CFI proudly stands as the most prominent and widespread trading provider in MENA, possessing the highest number of locally regulated entities compared to any competitor in our field.

Read more: CFI drives financial inclusion and diversification in Egyptian market 

Customers first

One of the drivers behind CFI’s growth is its commitment to delivering a top-class customer experience for its clients, who are located in over 100 countries worldwide. They are well-known for providing exceptional client support around the clock, offering daily technical reports, complimentary webinars and personal account managers.

“While we operate on a global scale, we also consider and adapt to the needs of all our local markets,” Mansour explained, pointing out how being customer-centric is fundamental in their operations.

The company emphasizes the significance of being close and accessible to its clients both digitally and physically. It maintains a balance between global reach and local market sensitivity. It customizes its services for the various markets it serves in order to establish a stronger presence in its regions.

“Our strategy is guided by honesty, support and empowerment, placing the client at the heart of our operations. They are not just a number to us; we are not just a platform to them. Instead, we focus on having a physical local presence and personalized support that help us build long-term client relationships based on trust and integrity,” Mansour said.

On expanding in MENA

Carrying that customer-first approach, CFI is also setting its sights on boosting its Egyptian market presence. In 2023, they have ramped up their expansion plans to unprecedented levels, unveiling five new and regulated entities in the region. These include those launched in Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine and Oman. Additionally, they have recently introduced their second SCA-regulated entity in the UAE. SCA stands for Securities and Commodities Authority.

Apart from these entities, CFI further solidified its status as MENA’s leading trading provider by having more regulated branches and a larger presence than any other provider.

“Our new branches bring CFI’s award-winning trading services to these new local regions, allowing clients to see our offices, experience personalized services, talk to the CFI team, shake hands and establish a real human connection,” Mansour noted.

“Our sights are set on tapping into new emerging markets where we see rising demand for financial market access but limited providers present in those regions. We plan to further expand in the U.K. and EU and also target growth in LATAM and Asia. This global expansion strategy aims to bring our services to more regions, emphasizing personalized services and human connections,” Mansour said.

AI is only getting stronger

The world today is evolving faster than we can take note of. AI, making its way into different aspects of the economy and society, is now available in various forms – for various applications. And along with this unprecedented advancement, the trading and investing industry is also undergoing a substantial shift.

The future for CFI and the industry is set for significant advancements as the impact of AI grows increasingly greater.

“At CFI, we think of AI today as people thought of the internet 30 years ago. Whether you liked or disliked it back then, the internet made things easier and became an integral part of our everyday lives. It revolutionized everything, including trading. We now see AI as the next trading revolution,” he shared.

However, he stressed that this AI revolution also poses many challenges for firms that are slow to adapt. Why? Because failure to incorporate AI into the fabric of trading may result in a loss of competitiveness.

“As the industry moves toward increased reliance on AI-driven solutions, firms that do not embrace this shift risk being left behind. At CFI, we recognize the imperative to stay ahead of the curve. Our commitment is not merely to keep pace but to lead in the integration of AI, ensuring that our clients benefit first and foremost from cutting-edge advancements,” the CFI founder said.

In line with its longstanding practice, CFI is keen on remaining one step ahead. This time, they are investing in research and development. Moreover, they continuously enhance their AI tools early on.

“We aim to set new standards and redefine the possibilities within the online trading landscape,” Mansour added.

Hisham Mansour, CFI

Welcoming its second UAE branch

CFI marked the new year with its second office launch in Dubai, the financial capital of the UAE.

“We were incredibly proud to officially launch our second branch in the UAE, locally regulated by the SCA. Moreover, we attained a Category One license, the highest category for our business with the highest paid-up capital requirements. This marks our strong commitment to the country we consider home,” Mansour said.

Since its establishment in 1998, CFI has endeavored to provide a secure, safe and transparent medium to the global markets, ensuring both extensive market access and trading flexibility. Introducing its latest SCA-licensed entity is a testament to this commitment. This offers enhanced security and protection for its trading clients. At the same time, it provides unparalleled access to global markets with a range of instruments, tools and trading resources.

The inauguration of this entity is of significant value to CFI, especially since it was granted in the UAE, the same country where the Group’s headquarters are located in Dubai.

“As a region fueled by innovation and technological advancement, the UAE has proved to be the ideal location to serve CFI’s client base in the Middle East. It highlights our dedication to delivering safe and regulated access to the financial markets. It affirms our objective to remain side by side with our clients in the UAE. Adding this license further empowers our position in the region and allows us to serve our clients better,” he added.

More milestones

Apart from giving clients the best-in-class trading experience, CFI also prioritizes providing employees a great work environment. Testament to that is the recent multiple prestigious Great Place to Work® certifications they received.

“As a founder, I believe success is driven by people who make great organizations. That’s why achieving multiple Great Place to Work® certifications across our global offices holds immense pride for us,” Mansour said.

At CFI, the emphasis on fostering a positive workplace and nurturing a robust company culture is essential. They know it’s vital for the firm’s long-term success. In the past year, CFI has significantly expanded its team, nearly doubling in size. This growth facilitates the company’s ongoing expansion while ensuring the preservation and development of the unique CFI culture.

“What sets CFI apart as an award-winning workplace is our commitment to creating an environment where our team members thrive personally and professionally. We recognize that our greatest asset is our people. Their satisfaction and well-being are at the forefront of our priorities,” Mansour said.

“By fostering mutual respect and support, we’ve created a culture where every team member feels heard, valued and empowered to contribute their best. We aim to keep this badge of honor as a testament to our commitment to our exceptional people,” he added.

While CFI swiftly integrates AI amid significant technological advancements, it preserves its human touch, knowing that some human elements cannot simply be traded. The positive workplace culture at CFI enhances employee motivation. This in turn empowers their people to continue upholding the company’s legacy of dependable customer support.

This strategy successfully balances innovation with culture, and it’s a tried-and-tested way to stay ahead of the game.

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Disclaimer: Opinions conveyed in this article are solely those of the author. The information presented in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute advice on tax and legal matters; neither are they financial or investment recommendations. Refer to our full disclaimer policy here.