Virtual Brokers (VB) is a Toronto-based online brokerage firm that achieves its success with cutting-edge technology.
Providing “reliable and attentive” trading services to institutions, professional traders, high net worth clients and retail investors, Virtual Brokers offers a diverse array of products, such as applications, analytical tools, standalone and web-based trading platforms to meet the needs of its clients. VB offers a wide range of investment vehicles like Margin accounts, Registered accounts (RRSP, US RRSP, RIF, RESP, TFSA, US RRSP, US TFSA), and COD accounts for individuals, corporations and institutions.
A division of BBS Securities, and a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, Virtual Brokers offers self-direct accounts to its clients, a model which has proven to be cost-effective to the company’s growing clientele base.
In the beginning
It’s interesting to note that the organization began in 2009, a time when many in the market lingered because of financial uncertainty. Yet, the firm has been well received in its short history, particularly because of the group of engineers and scientists who are a part of the company and who understand the ins and outs of its offerings, as well as its respective markets.
Virtual Brokers believes this group of knowledgeable staff has played a key role in its early success story. A group that understands its technologies, with a background rich with programming and coding capabilities, Virtual Brokers understands the market technologies and has today successfully implemented automation technology across most of its operations.
Also industry-unique to Virtual Brokers is its “multi-dimensional difference”, particularly the company’s ability to minimize costs for retail and smaller portfolios. Larger portfolios of high net worth clients receive additionally handling by an account managing expert.
Key to the success of Virtual Brokers is its ability to be cost effective. All operations are kept in-house. The system developed by Virtual Brokers advocates for the company to be as efficient as possible.
“We understand our clients, whether you are small retail or a high-end customer. Customer service is one of the things people want to feel comfortable with,” summarized Bardya Ziaian, CEO of Virtual Brokers.
“There are a lot of efficiencies that people don’t realize that enable us to hire a lesser number of employees and therefore reduce our costs and reduce the costs to the clients.”
Focus on small
Providing more service to smaller retail has been a focus of Virtual Brokers. Accordingly, the company strives to serve this segment with value-add features such as specific features to the Virtual Brokers website. Virtual Brokers has built up an offering of about 200 features for retail, research, and insider trading.
Ziaian describes the growth of the company since its inception as “phenomenal and exponential”. As part of this growth, in the company’s first year of operation, it made a point to limit its advertising, and rather to focus its efforts on ensuring that its system worked, and that the company fully understood the markets as it perceived the markets.
“We validated our approach, which is different than other people,” Ziaian explained. “It has worked very well and our customers have been very happy. We get a lot of referrals; customers bringing in other customers.
“An interesting point also is that we have been profitable since the second month we have been in existence.
Technology has been a tremendous part of our business and the people who work here all understand the industry well. That combination has been very efficient.”
The early success of Virtual Brokers has not gone without recognition. As part of a package presented by The Globe and Mail which ranks all Canadian brokerage firms, Virtual Brokers ranked second nationwide as the best broker in Canada in just its second year of operation.
Kambiz Vatan-Abadi, Vice-President of Operations for Virtual Brokers, told The Canadian Business Journal, “We have been selected as the most innovative brokerage firm in Canada in 2011 and also the best price and lowest costs in many aspects, this is quite the achievement for a two-year-old Canadian brokerage firm above all the big names and banks.”
“We are the only discount broker that was also ranked by The Globe and Mail in its first year of existence. These are outstanding stats. Moving forward, Virtual Brokers strives to be recognized as a Canadian-proud company and a national icon. The goal is to continue improving on the current, while forming new ideas and product innovation. Virtual Brokers desires to be recognized as not only a market leader, but an industry leader,” explained Vatan-Abadi.
“We would like to be the firm where people look for the leadership of technology and product,” Ziaian concluded. “We like to give as many tools as possible for our customer to analyze and improve their performance with factual things in the market.”