FXbeacon: Fostering Developmental Relationships in Business: A Holistic Approach


My wife loves to explore the world. Anyone who has gone on an adventure with us knows that my wife’s trips are always outstanding. My trips on the other hand are usually all about business and developing relationships with people around the world. A few years ago, we visited Notre Dame in Paris and took a behind-the-scenes tour of the restoration work being done on this magnificent cathedral. The emotion and feelings evoked from seeing this masterpiece cannot be replicated. Only a few weeks later it caught fire and burned down. My feelings of heartbreak from this personal interaction would not have been the same if I had not visited and experienced it in person. Notre DameWorking at GPS Capital Markets is for me all about creating true Developmental Relationships in business, which requires being meaningfully connected to current and prospective clients, even if that means traveling hundreds or thousands of miles to see them.

For instance, a few years ago I was visiting a client in their office, and they had a mountain bike propped up against the wall. As an avid mountain biker myself we were able to develop a close relationship based on mutual interests. This client then took me on a tour of their building and showed me a map of where they do business around the world. Noticing they did business in China, I asked about the challenges they had doing business there. He had incorrectly assumed they didn’t have options for dealing with CNY currency risk. We were able to customize a very effective plan to help them reduce their risk by millions a year. None of this would have happened without having been there in person. 

In the ever-evolving business landscape, the importance of Developmental Relationships cannot be overstated. Repeatedly, I have experienced a very fractional relationship approach to sales, with multiple handoffs from the initial call to implementation and ongoing support. This is especially true in the technology space where a lot of knowledge is required to advise a client on their best course of action. But how does this relate to foreign exchange and our ability to provide a great service to our clients? Let me relate three examples of how and why this works for me. 

What Is Right for the Client? 

Okay, I know this sounds trite and everybody says something similar, but here are ways I practice and train our employees with this skill. 

  1. It is the GPS corporate policy that we meet IN PERSON with all our clients before we do business with them. This is way more than a compliance KYC objective thrust down from above. We want to know who we are dealing with. It is our philosophy that if we truly seek first to understand our clients, we are better situated to help them succeed. One of my favorite things is taking a tour of my client’s facilities and seeing how people make and provide products to people around the world. Over the years I have seen how to create everything from rollercoasters to microchips.
  2. All the systems, development, and treasury management tools GPS has created are a direct response to requests from our clients. We can only do this if we have an intimate relationship with them and truly know what they need. To quote our CEO, Brandon Parke, “A lot of companies are trying to take the account executive out of the equation and make everything point and click, and that’s important. Technology is important. We marry that personal service that we have with the right FX solutions from a technology standpoint.”
  3. Build long-term relationships of trust with clients. GPS was started 22 years ago, and we still have many of the original clients who came with us in the first year. Reputation is important, and we strive to make our best sales effort the referrals from happy clients. To develop that relationship, you must provide value to the client. That value comes from the knowledge of our staff about the FX markets and about our clients.  

All of this happens before we start “selling” someone on our tools and service. If you have never met your provider and all they do is sell you more and more risky products, it is not very likely you will have a true partner. 

Find The Right Partners 

burnleyWhen choosing a football club to sponsor, it was important to understand who we were getting in business with. Partnering with prominent organizations, such as Burnley FC, opens doors to a vast network of professionals and enthusiasts alike. But not all relationships are the same. We met with the owners of the club on multiple occasions to ensure that our end goals and cultures were a good fit. At the end of the day, the people in the organization, and their willingness to help us as a company were deciding factors. These partnerships extend beyond traditional networking events, offering unique opportunities for interaction, and fostering relationships not only within the business community but also among passionate sports fans. Such as the one we co-sponsored to bring together top women leaders in Northern England to hear the inspiring journey of Lola Ogunbote, Head of Women’s Football at Burnley’s Football Club. This also applies to our clients, we don’t just do business with anyone, we are selective about who we do business with.

Foster a Culture of Success 

In the pursuit of organizational growth and success, fostering partnerships with like-minded entities is essential. One such collaboration is a strategic alliance we have with the women’s business community in the UK. They are passionate about creating environments for senior female professionals to connect, meet, collaborate, and create long-lasting professional friendships. This harmonizes nicely with the GPS Capital Markets Women in Business Employee Resource Group (ERG) that we established last year. These partnerships align with principles of diversity and inclusion and provide a mutually beneficial relationship. GPS is an organization that specializes in creating bespoke FX solutions for clients, an opportunity to further understand the unique needs of female CFOs and provide tailored FX solutions that aid in the professional success of women in finance. This all works toward a better relationship with our clients. 

Incorporating partnerships with organizations like Burnley FC into developmental relationships adds a unique dimension to our business growth. In addition to learning how to grow a beautiful turf field and understand the specific needs of women CFOs, these collaborations offer a diverse range of opportunities, from expanding professional networks and enhancing leadership training, to fostering global perspectives. By integrating the strengths of these partnerships, businesses can create a holistic developmental environment that propels them toward sustained success in the competitive business landscape.1709571480812

To return to my initial anecdote, I got to visit Notre Dame this week between meetings and see the progress they have made in restoring it. Feelings of gratefulness washed over me, as I appreciated all the opportunities life has given me. Not just to see beautiful things, but the experiences and opportunities to help others achieve their goals in a meaningful, solid, and present way


Learn more by contacting a GPS FX currency advisor here:  Book a call with GPS

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About David Pierce


Dave is a Financial Executive with more than 30 years of experience assisting corporations establish hedging strategies and implement risk management solutions for their corporate foreign exchange exposures.