After acquiring a fascination for aviation as a young visitor to the Farnborough air show, Alex Bennett is benefiting the industry with his currency expertise at a time when Forex trades are very much headline news.
How did you become involved in aviation?
Having had a personal interest in aviation since an early age – my father and I used to visit the Farnborough air show, which I always loved – I had some insight into the wider context of the industry. This made me realise what a specialist industry it is. I started to work with Smart Currency Business 10 years ago and began developing a client business within aviation. This has grown organically, into its own dedicated part of the company.
What does your working week consist of?
My week is a real mixture of activities, which includes visiting clients to ensure they are satisfied with the services provided, conducting internal meetings to look at how we can better serve our client base, working on strategies with clients, researching markets to make sure we are on top of all the variables that may affect currency transactions, and attending networking events to ensure that we are up to speed with industry issues. I also work on Insights: Aviation Business; a marketing tool that is a key part of the Smart Currency Business Insights series and includes features and commentary from industry leaders. I’ll get involved suggesting editorial themes and working with the marketing team to raise our profile.
How does what you do support aviation companies?
For any business operating on an international scale, mismanagement of currency transactions can have a serious effect on the bottom line. As aviation companies trade worldwide, many deals involve not one but a number of currencies all tied to the whims of the dollar. It is essential, therefore, aviation businesses are aware of the anomalies of the currency exchange system and how best to minimise their exposure. This is where Smart Currency Business comes in: we aim to support their currency exchange transactions to make sure that they don’t lose out.
What are the challenges you see for aviation in terms of currency exchange?
It is undoubtedly a turbulent time for the international currency markets. A series of factors have affected stability, like tumbling oil prices (now at their lowest in years), which is particularly significant for the aviation industry; geopolitical risk; uncertainty about interest rate hikes in the US and UK; and the ambiguity surrounding the European Central Bank’s potential quantitative easing programme. These have seriously affected stability so we try to help minimise the risks on behalf of our clients. If companies don’t take these factors into consideration, they face losing money on the bottom line, which is something we want to help them avoid.
What aspects do you enjoy about your role?
It’s been exciting to develop the Smart Currency Business aviation wing, and to see it continuously soar to new heights. I enjoy working with people from companies that are professional and passionate about the sector. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and learning from prominent figures from the industry, which has been invaluable.
What do you think the future has in store for aviation currency exchange?
The one thing we are certain of is the currency markets will continue to be unpredictable, and, given the speed and volume of transactions in the aviation industry, it’s imperative businesses have the right strategies to mitigate risk. We also believe currency exchange can be dependent on industry regulations, so it is important the industry keeps up to date with the latest situation. If you combine these, it seems the future of aviation currency exchange is challenging, but we’ll continue to develop strategies for managing the fluctuating situation and supporting our clients’ need to ease the impact of these external forces.