Getting To Know You: Jessal Shah, Co-Founder & CEO, Mayfair FX

Jessal Shah

What do you currently do?

I am the Co-Founder & CEO Mayfair FX. My role has evolved dramatically from launching the business to now focus on setting the strategy for the business and ensuring our international expansion goals are achieved.

Mayfair FX is a leading Foreign Exchange broker that helps businesses & individuals to receive bank-beating exchange rates on International Payments & Currency Transfers. Our headquarters are based in London although we operate on global scale with clients transacting 24 hours a day.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

My career in the currency markets began over 10 years ago at HSBC in Foreign Exchange Sales. There I assisted Commercial & Corporate clients on their FX deals and hedging requirements which is where the lightbulb moment occurred.

I realised there was no transparency in pricing and businesses are often over charged between 70-90 per cent, just because the banks don’t offer much flexibility.

Having been at HSBC during the downturn in 2008, I noticed businesses can be highly affected by exchange rates and coupled with expensive pricing awarded by the banks, often made these businesses uncompetitive on the international market place.

Forward to 2014, Mayfair FX was launched to solve this problem and ensure clients are receiving the best transparent deal when operating internationally or even buying a property abroad.

What defines your way of doing business?

Transparency, Trust, Team.
We view our clients not just as client but as part of our team. If we can support their businesses with a reliable, trustworthy and transparent service, it gives their business the best chance of survival and growth. Our growth is determined by that of our clients therefore we are strongly aligned with their goals.

Likewise, when it comes to individuals or personal transfers we think it is better their hard earned money is saved (from the bank) and spent on the things that really matter to them.

Who do you admire?

Entrepreneurs – I believe it takes great courage and vision to leave a successful career and follow your dreams. As Warren Buffett recently mentioned in an interview “Ultimately, there’s one investment that supersedes all others: Invest in yourself”.

Looking back is there anything you would of done differently?

When growing fast you can make hasty investment decisions which looking back sometimes feels like wasted capital. It’s part of the learning curve and we now make decisions with a lot more patience and planning. Mistakes or misjudged decisions are made by every entrepreneur so do not be ashamed but instead take stock, review and readdress.

What advice do you give someone starting out?

Invest in the best team because experience can add great value early on when building strong foundations. Having a strong experienced team will be appreciated by your clients and will be in a better position to navigate the complications faced when starting a new business.

Also, do not be scared to make changes to your original business plans, the world evolves at a fast pace which may mean your business needs the flexibility to do the same.