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Meet the Herzlia alumni fast-tracking change in forex



In February last year, the SA Jewish Report featured the success story of Future Forex, a local business founded by two Herzlia alumni who decided to start the venture at an Ohr Somayach event, which was making waves in the financial sector with its digital asset arbitrage investment service. Fast forward a year and half, and the pair have grown Future Forex to be the biggest arbitrage service of its kind in South Africa.

Co-founder and chief executive Harry Scherzer (class of 2011), a University of Cape Town (UCT) graduate and qualified actuary with a strong background in finance and risk management, along with friend, co-founder, and chief technology officer Josh Kotlowitz (class of 2010), a UCT and University College London graduate who received his MSc in space science and engineering with distinction, have been riding high on the success of scaling up a business that now has more than 50 dedicated specialists situated in all the major metros, including MBA graduates, accountants, engineers, and lawyers.

Their stringent adherence to regulatory norms paved the way to the firm being granted a license as a financial services provider (FSP 51884). This places Future Forex among the ranks of the country’s largest and most trusted financial providers.

Using a now-proven formula that capitalises on the power of collaboration, innovation, and a client-centric approach, the pair introduced a foreign-exchange service to the South African market this year, adjacent to their booming digital asset arbitrage investment service.

This service assists businesses and individuals to move money to and from abroad. Though banks are also able to do this, their levels of service and pricing are well off the mark, says Scherzer. “When entering the foreign-exchange market, we were amazed at how poorly clients are being serviced by the major banks. Not only is the pricing often exorbitant, but businesses and individuals are left to fend for themselves if there’s any issues or special instructions for a payment. Future Forex is here to change that for good, and ensure that processing forex transactions can become client-centric, as it should be. Everyone can relate to being put on hold by a call centre after explaining your issue to the fifth different person, with no resolution. This simply isn’t acceptable to us when moving sums of money internationally.”

Future Forex assigns every client a dedicated account manager who is always available to assist. Its ethos has always been one of client-centricity, which is why its account management team knows the ins and outs of its clients’ use-cases to ensure that it can assist in the most efficient way, understanding the nuances of different industries and unique client needs. From regulatory Approvals of International Transfers (AITs) – formally known as FIAs – for individuals wanting to send sums of more than R1 million overseas, to assisting with the completion of the Reserve Bank’s mandatory BOP (Balance of Payment) forms as complimentary services; Future Forex is transforming the industry by always going the extra mile for its clients.

Usually with increased levels of service, clients would expect costs to increase. This is one of those rare cases where, because of the exorbitant margins charged by banks, Future Forex is able to offer a significantly better and more personalised service, but at reduced cost. “The aim is to improve service significantly while reducing our margins in order to ensure that it becomes an easy decision for clients to move across,” says Scherzer.

But the sub-par level of service and often-ludicrous pricing offered by banks aren’t the only areas which the Future Forex team believes are rife for disruption. They have also found bank operations to be decades behind technologically, which translates to poor levels of service when onboarding, making changes, or booking deals. Future Forex uses its cutting edge technology to ensure that all “paperwork” is performed online in a streamlined manner, and that the system can remember all details of clients so that the same information never needs to be provided twice.

This leads to huge time saving for businesses and individuals alike when making a payment. “Right from the outset, we identified key areas in the client journey where digitisation and automation could be leveraged to improve traditional processes,” says Kotlowitz. The technological changes being made by the Future Forex team are essential to improving client experience, and have been easily identifiable given the low level of streamlining in the current market.

“We’ve started by improving the ‘low hanging fruit’ like removing the need for a pen and paper and going into a bank, or not repeating details multiple times when onboarding or booking a deal; but we’re now moving to more nuanced changes which will further improve client experience like allowing them to transact through whichever platform they please, from email to WhatsApp to our online platform, and even reading details off a clients’ identity document or proof of address, so they don’t have to input this themselves. We develop technological solutions based on what we’re seeing our clients struggle with on a day-to-day basis,” says Kotlowitz.

A recent survey performed by Future Forex confirmed the team’s belief that levels of service in the industry are far off the mark, with 76% of respondents saying that they weren’t fully satisfied with their current level of service from their forex provider.

The two Herzlia friends are reshaping an industry that is riddled with over-the-top pricing, and surprisingly poor levels of service. As Future Forex continues its meteoric rise, one can only wonder what’s next on the horizon for Harry and Josh. Given their trajectory, we’re sure to revisit their story soon.

If you’d like to investigate switching to Future Forex for your foreign-exchange payments, visit or get in touch by calling 021 518 0558 or emailing and one of its specialists will be in touch to improve your service and pricing.

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