A Conversation with our Founder Martin Cox
News & Insights
Join us for a conversation with Martin Cox, the CEO and Founder of GC Partners, as we celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. In this special edition of our ‘A Conversation With’ series, Martin shares his personal insights into the origins of GC Partners and the challenges he faced along the way. Discover how his entrepreneurial spirit and unwavering commitment to customer excellence helped build the company into the successful international business it is today.
What were you doing before you started GC Partners?
Before starting GC Partners, my career path took me on a unique journey. My wife and I travelled the world while working on cruise ships, where we learned the importance of providing excellent customer service. It was during this time that I developed a passion for the foreign exchange market. I pitched my FX skills to various companies and eventually landed a trainee dealer position. Over the next four years, I worked my way up to Director level and became a part owner of the company. This experience allowed me to hone my skills and prepare for the next chapter of my career.
When did you first become interested in the foreign exchange market?
While working on the cruise ships, my wife and I saved up $20,000, which we decided to transfer to our UK bank account in GBP. The service from the bank was poor, two weeks after the initial transfer we still hadn’t received funds in our UK bank account and we didn’t know where our hard-earned money had gone. We then spent the next two weeks phoning and visiting the bank with no resolution. After finally receiving the funds, we discovered that we had an extra £900 in our account. This experience sparked my curiosity about currency exchange and led me to start using Teletext to check daily exchange rates. I soon found myself studying the FX markets to make profits on my own trades.
What did GC Partners look like 20 years ago?
At the beginning, we were called Global Currency Exchange Network Ltd. It was a high-risk, high-reward venture that required a lot of hard work and dedication. However, thanks to the strong relationships that I had built in the industry, some of my colleagues were willing to join me on this new journey. Despite the uncertainty, they believed in both my vision and their own abilities and were willing to work without any salary until the business made a profit. In our first month, we were able to generate £18,000, which was a great start and a testament to our hard work and commitment. Although the early days were challenging, the success we achieved gave us the motivation to continue and grow the business. The support and dedication of my colleagues were invaluable and showed me the true meaning of teamwork.
How has the business evolved?
Since opening our first overseas office in Spain in 2004, GC Partners has undergone significant changes and growth. Initially, our focus was on private clients, but over time we have expanded our services to cater to the needs of corporate clients as well. We have opened offices in multiple countries, including Spain, Portugal, and Dubai, and have continued to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions.
In 2018 we became an Employee Ownership Trust and in 2019 we rebranded to GC Partners.
We have grown from a small startup to a well-established company that has earned the trust and respect of our clients and partners. We have been able to innovate and adapt to changing market conditions, and we have expanded our services to meet the evolving needs of our clients.
What are you most proud of throughout the GC Partners journey?
I am most proud of the team we have built. From the very beginning, I have been surrounded by a group of loyal, dedicated and passionate individuals who have helped me bring my vision for the company to life. Together, we have worked tirelessly to build a company that is not only successful but is also built on a foundation of trust, respect, and a commitment to excellence. I am proud of the culture we have created at GC Partners, one that values collaboration, personalization, and accountability.
What has been your one major challenge over the last 20 years?
My biggest challenge is also my biggest achievement, and that’s my family. When I started the business, we had just had our first child and it was my sole responsibility to support them. By the time our second child was born I was travelling to Spain on a regular basis, these trips were essential for the growth of the business. My need to be a great husband and father always took priority and I would try to avoid overnight stays, traveling to and from Spain in the same day so I could get home for bath time. I was delighted when we opened an office in Spain, and I didn’t have to travel there so regularly.
What makes GC Partners unique?
What makes GC Partners unique is our employees and their dedication to delivering exceptional customer service. They bring warmth and professionalism to every interaction, and their personalities shine through. Their unwavering commitment to our clients and the success of the company is what sets us apart.
What does the future hold for GC Partners?
We are always looking to grow and diversify, last year we opened our first office in Asia and are currently going through the regulatory process in the Netherlands… Additionally, we are continually investing in technology to improve our services and provide more value to our clients. We plan to expand our digital capabilities and provide more online solutions to meet the changing needs of our clients. We will also continue to build strong relationships with our partners and clients and maintain our commitment to excellence in customer service. Overall, the future of GC Partners is bright and we are excited to see what the next 20 years will bring.
If you’d like to find out more about what it’s like working with GC Partners, you can read about other experiences on our blog. Or if you’d like to find out more about the business, feel free to get in touch to see how GC Partners might be able to help you.