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Q&A With Co-Founders Daniel Fielding And Gary Steadman

"We started Spartan with one goal – to provide incredible rates with excellent service”.

Dan and Gary founded Spartan FX in 2018 to provide clients with a personal currency service to help them save time and money on their international payments. Fast forward to 2021, and the company is still going strong and growing even through Brexit and a pandemic. Dan and Gary share their insights on the effects of Brexit and Covid-19 on international payments and why they started Spartan FX. 

Why did you set up Spartan FX? 

Dan: There are so many reasons, but primarily it was to use our knowledge and experience to set up a business that does things properly, and that we could be proud of. Having both worked for a long time in large corporate FX companies in London, we started to become disillusioned with the industry. We were often being required to act and transact in the best interests of the business rather than the customer. We wanted to create a customer-centric FX platform and a company where the customers’ best interests are our number 1 priority

How did you decide on the name? 

Gary: We had so many ideas but ultimately, we wanted something strong, that helped to convey what we are trying to achieve.  We took this a step further by using the chevron as a key element of our logo, which means protection according to Spartan history. This really resonated with our core values and what we are trying to be for our clients: a brand that is strong, safe, and reliable.

What is it about Spartan FX that makes you stand out from the crowd?

Gary: The people within the business first and foremost. We all came together with the belief that deliverable FX could be done so much better. We have started a brand that will never lose sight of its original core values, that our levels of service and our clients are the most important thing.

We have started a brand that will never lose sight of its original core values, that our levels of service and our clients are the most important thing.

What does that next level look like, and what are the steps to getting there?

Dan: The next level for us is basically a continuation of the growth we’ve seen over the last 2 years. Our team has already more than tripled in size since we started Spartan FX and we want to continue to expand the team, to forge even more trusted relationships with new partners and customers.

Gary: We are also constantly reinvesting into the business and our technologies to make sure every client interaction is an improvement on the last.

Through all your years in the industry, what would you say is the biggest mistake individuals and businesses make with their international payments strategy?

Gary: Generally trying to run before they can walk, I know it’s a cliché but it’s so true. Everyone in their mind wants to be the best and wants the latest facility and technology but if that’s at the cost of the quality of your service and your core values then you’re already failing. Rushing through an offering and delivering it badly to be the first is a mistake so many companies have made over the years. And, then moving onto the next new exciting thing without fixing the mistakes you have made on the previous one. 

If you could give one bit of advice to anyone needing to do a large currency transfer, what would it be?

Dan: Have an honest and open conversation with your dealer. Make sure that they really understand what you want to achieve and that the service and solution they are tailoring to you are suited to your requirements and not just something that is convenient for them.

How do you reassure customers that you are a company they can trust, and their money is safe and secure?

Gary: All our team have a substantial amount of experience and that is really important. When it comes to looking after a client’s transaction, you want the dealer to understand all the potential scenarios and have an appreciation of how everything works. That is one of the reasons that all members of our client-facing team handling currency transactions have at least 10 years of experience, helping our clients to avoid any potential pitfalls.

How are Brexit and Covid-19 affecting your business?

Dan: It’s made things tough for a lot of our clients. The pandemic has seen some of our clients do very well while others have struggled and have to furlough a lot of their staff depending on their industry. We have all had to adapt to working from home, we have worked hard to make sure that this change in working environment wouldn’t lead to a drop in the quality of our service, which by looking at our continued 5-star reviews we have managed to achieve. 

Gary: With Brexit, the main problem is the ongoing uncertainty of it all, which makes it hard for businesses to prepare when there is still a lot unknown. There are a lot of changes often resulting in more costs to their bottom line, here at Spartan FX we do everything we can to support our customers. 

What’s the most challenging aspect of the currency transfer business at the moment?

Gary: I think for me personally it’s getting the message across. A lot of clients have been promised the world by other providers and it’s fallen far short. It's trying to cut through their misconceptions and show that we are different. Our customers come first, we will not baffle them with the typical sales talk, we make sure we are clear and offer the solutions that are right for them.

How would you describe the culture at Spartan FX?

Dan: The culture at Spartan FX is refreshingly different from that of any other FX companies out there. We don’t burden our team with unachievable monthly targets, instead, we incentivise by using a personal and proactive approach to FX transfers where the dealer and customer work together to ensure the clients' needs are always meet. Monday morning dread is a thing of the past – knowing you are working every day to help your customers’ businesses to flourish gives us immense pride.

How or why did you get into FX?

Gary: For me personally it was 20 years ago, I had been working in a job that I didn’t enjoy. I was offered a job by a client of mine who was a director of the company as he thought I would be a good fit. It was something that I had never done at the time or even thought about, but it just felt so right, and I have never looked back. I couldn’t really see myself doing anything else.

Dan: Same really, I had a few jobs that I fell into when I left school at 16 (I won’t divulge how long ago that was!), then an opportunity came up as an administrator/tea maker for a FX firm in the City and I just loved it. I worked my way up and established myself as a corporate dealer, having learned from some truly great people along the way.

What you do when you are not working at Spartan FX?

Dan: Family is really important to me and I think that goes for all of the team. My wife and I had a baby girl last year and I try to spend as much time as possible with her, she’s just amazing and is growing up so fast! Other interests include playing golf and following my beloved Tottenham Hotspur – I’ve been a season ticket holder almost all my life, I am really hoping we can get back to stadiums soon!

Gary: I spend a lot of my time outside of work with family. I have two near teenage children, they are my biggest priority and I strive to be a good role model for them. When I’m not with them I like to catch up with friends, although that has been very difficult with the pandemic. I have a keen interest in sport, primarily football and rugby as I played both for many years.