Vector moves investments in a positive direction
Mexican brokerage firm Vector Casa de Bolsa is committed to accompanying its clients on the path to low-risk financial success
Mexico has worked diligently over the past few decades to overcome obstacles and recessions in order to create an investor and business friendly climate – and the results are paying off. Today, the financial sector enjoys enviable solidity and the government boasts a very manageable fiscal deficit of roughly 2%.
“The Banking and Securities Commission, the Secretary of Treasury, and the Bank of Mexico have done an excellent job. It’s important to generate trust, and one of the main drivers of our economic growth has been our economic openness and our foreign trade,” says Edgardo Cantú Delgado, President and CEO of Vector Casa de Bolsa.
“I have more than 20 years of experience working in Mexico’s financial sector and I’ve witnessed an evolution that spans from new investment product development and new platforms to important, positive growth in the regulatory framework, which has made the country more appealing for investment.”
Vector Casa de Bolsa is a leading Mexican financial brokerage firm with more than 35 years of history and the largest independent network in the country. It caters to institutions such as businesses, medium and high-value investors, and institutions such as pension funds, saving funds, government funds and insurance companies. Its 16,000 clients represent a market share of 8%.
Mr. Cantú explains that as Vector is independent and has no commercial banking arm, its role in the financial sector is quite flexible and competitive. “We’re mainly focused on investment portfolio management and brokerage, and this allows us to compete with other financial institutions – both domestic and foreign – present in Mexico. At the same time, however, we often end up becoming clients of theirs because what we aim to do is provide our investors with the very best.”
This goal to provide its clients with the best has also led Vector to open offices abroad. In the U.S., the company goes by the name VectorGlobal and has branches in Miami, Houston and New York.
“This brokerage firm was born with the objective to offer our clients in Mexico the possibility to manage an investment account in the U.S. as a springboard to international markets,” says Mr. Cantu. “We have agreements with 20 of the most important financial institutions in the world, which means that we can give our clients access to their best investment products.”
“We’ve got our eyes on Asia and we’re working to launch an office in Singapore. This is part of our effort to show off Mexico and Latin America to international markets and we see in Asia a market eager to learn more about us,” says Mr. Cantu.
Despite all this international expansion, Vector still has plenty of room to grow domestically. While the stock market represents 40% of GDP in Mexico, in Brazil it represents 70% and in the U.S. it’s over 100%, according to Mr. Cantu. “We must grow the stock markets here. I believe this is very positive and we’re seeing a favorable trend for the future. The trend that we’ve seen in the company is an interesting opportunity to establish a presence in other countries,” he adds.
Over its 35-year history, Vector has seen many ups and downs in the economy, yet has emerged strong. One lesson the company learned was that to remain strong, it should adhere to a customer-centric approach. Whereas some brokerage firms exist to make money for their own shareholders, by conducting a great deal of sales, Vector is solely focused on building its clients’ portfolios and increasing their worth. About 95% of Vector’s revenues comes from transactions and consultancy fees, which allows the firm to avoid conflicts of interest.
“All strategies are centered on advising our clients: the client always comes before the company. This has worked well for us. We provide advisory services for capital markets, investment funds, money markets, investment markets, and international markets, and we advise companies on seeking capital to finance their growth,” says Vector’s CEO.
The firm’s Internet and cell phone platforms, e-Vector and Vector Movil, allow Vector to remain close to its clients at their own convenience around the clock.
In seeking out the best for its clients, Vector tends towards low-risk funds that afford steady performance. This policy has led to the firm’s investment funds’ achieving five stars on Standard & Poor’s Star Ranking for three consecutive years. Fitch Ratings also tipped its hat to Vector Casa de Bolsa when in August 2011 it reaffirmed the Mexican firm’s long-term national scale rating of ‘A-’ and its short-term rating at ‘F2’. In fact, Vector is the only Mexican brokerage firm to boast grades from both rating agencies.
“This wasn’t obligatory but we wanted the company rated to emit transparency and build trust,” says Mr. Cantu. “We’re also ISO 9000 and ISO 9001:2000 certified, making us the first one with certification in both Risk and Settlement Management.”
Although recognition from international agencies does send out a huge vote of confidence to investors, Mr. Cantu believes that in the brokerage business it’s the employees who serve as Vector’s best spokespeople. “This is a business where the only assets are buildings and offices, but the quality of the people is what really makes the difference,” he says. Voted a Great Place to Work, Vector has a team of brokers that truly transmit the message to the world that Mexico is a fertile field for investment.
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