Surge Trading SA

Surge Trading SA was founded in 1989 as an independent and privately owned commodity. Patrice Cornaz was invited to take over management of the company in order to create a brokerage company offering a reliable service with up-to-the-minute information by building up a well integrated team of both front and back office personnel, harmonising with the administration services. The strength of the company has been focused on foreign exchange transactions and execution-only brokerage services, thus providing professional, institutional and private clients with a prime individual service covering foreign currency markets and commodity and financial futures.

Surge's team of employees have many years of experience in the financial markets, ranging from the terminal markets in Paris to the futures exchanges in Europe and the United States and to the financial services sector in Switzerland. During this time they have serviced not only professionals and institutions but also the private client sector. Mr Cornaz and the team he has set up around him have been successful in building up the profile and client base of the company.

Surge's head office

Surge's head office is based in Geneva in the heart of Europe. Although Geneva enjoys a political and social equilibrium which derives from Switzerland's long history of neutrality, the city is essentially European and Surge's employees are equally at home in French, German, Italian or English. Geneva's geographical location and its sophisticated infrastructure of telecommunications and transport accommodate Surge's primary requirement of enabling it to remain in frequent and rapid contact with all its clients.


Since 1992 the activities of Surge Trading SA have strengthened in global foreign exchange services.

The collapse in 1973 of the Bretton Woods system with its fixed parities allowed the major currencies to float freely for the first time since 1944 and this has given birth to the current foreign exchange market at play in the world today. Since the mid-1970s the world has witnessed events such as an explosion in currency market volatility, the creation of free trade markets such as the European Community, the globalisation of financial markets, the creation of financial futures markets and the free movement of investment capital. The combination of all these events has contributed to the growing interdependence of national economies and this economic interdependence has in turn led to a massive increase in the number of financial transactions effected globally. Deregulation in the 1980s transformed foreign exchange into the world's only 24-hour market and its liquidity has risen accordingly.

A real stability in foreign exchange transactions may only really occur if a global economic policy were to be established. However, economic and political interests are so diverse and at variance that a total global consensus is rendered impraticable if not impossible; whilst some countries place the fight against inflation high on the agenda, others prefer to tackle unemployment, some nations base the success of their economic policy on the growth rate and some on the value of their currency against other currencies.

The foreign exchange market is the world's most liquid market with participants ranging in size from banks and investment houses to corporations and private speculators. Using the market not only for a pure exercise of foreign exchange but also as a hedging exercise against interest rates, futures and options contracts and other deliveries.

Key market participants

Central Banks play a pivotal role because of their supervisory role and their ultimate control over money supply and interest rates. Central banks intervene to smooth out market fluctuations for freely convertible currencies by using their foreign currency reserves or by influencing interest rates through money market operations. Among the most active central banks are the American Federal Reserve System (the Fed) Deutsche Bundesbank, Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Banque de France. Where there are controls, central banks fix the rates of exchange and act as counterparty in every transaction.


Brokers relay prices received from banks via the telecommunications network to other banks and market users. These prices are not merely for indication, but are rates at which the quoting banks are willing to deal, usually for an accepted market amount.

Today broking firms do generally 'run positions' themselves by quoting their own rates of exchange. A small bank which would normally have difficulty obtaining a competitive rate if it approached a marketmaker directly, may achieve a market rate via a broker. Almost 20 per cent of all forex transactions nowadays are channelled through brokers.

Commercial banks provide integrated foreign exchange, deposit and payment facilities for customers. They also make an active market in currencies themselves. In any organised market there must be market-makers who are prepared to quote a price in the forex market, the market makers are commercial banks or brokers and the prices they quote are exchange rates. Banks charge their quotes in such a way as to allow them to balance supply and demand.

As in any other market there is a wholesale price, in this case the interbank exchange rate and a retail price which is the commercial exchange rate quoted to smaller customers. The difference will depend on a number of factors relevant at the time:

  • the value of the customer to the bank;
  • the size and type of transaction;
  • the settlement date; and
  • market volatility caused by international conflicts natural disasters, crop failures or changes in government policy.
All these factors affect the risk involved in 'making a price', that is quoting rates at which one is prepared to deal. The higher the risk involved the greater the difference will be between the interbank rate and the commercial rate. Market makers will demand a higher potential reward for taking on the risk of quoting prices when exchange rates fluctuate widely.

Independent broking service

Surge Trading's Financial Department is the broking arm of the company which acts as a broker for both institutional and private clients on the foreign exchange interbank markets and arranging deals in futures and options contracts. It maintains complete independence from the broking and banking fraternity when it arranges deals for clients thereby ensuring complete discretion. Since brokers, banks and dealers alike all compete for the company's business, Surge is able to maximise the choice and to try to achieve the best price possible for its clients.

The dealing team

All Surge's dealers are trained to take orders and E to give executions to the highest standard; they have access to the most up-to-date information services and are trained to stay on top of any news breaking anywhere in the world and to analyse world events in an instant. The dealers are required to undergo extensive in-house training and to pass professional examinations. Most dealers are conversant in more than one foreign language.

24-hour dealing service

The international market place operates on a 24-hour basis with each time zone contributing to the global picture. Surge recognises that events have to be monitored continuously and operates a round the clock dealing service. Clients are given a number they can call 24 hours a day to keep in touch with the trading team whose knowledge of a client's individual requirements and whose rapid assessment of market conditions is a valued combination assisting the client in his trading decisions.


The majority of foreign exchange transactions take place on the interbank market between the traders and market-makers representing commercial banks or other financial institutions. The foreign exchange market has the largest volume and the lowest cost of transactions and possibly the fastest pace of any financial market. Surge Trading SA acts as a Principal in the foreign exchange market and compensation for providing this service is built into its currency prices quotations.

Market information

A much valued source of market information is the market news round-up. This news brief is relayed by fax to clients and gives a clear, concise summary of the overnight news items. This brief will also give information on any economic figures (for example, retail price index, RPI, gross national product, GNP, etc) that are about to be released together with expectations, if any, of their impact on the markets and of the traditional technical support levels.

Many of Surge's clients, particularly the institutional sector, require an execution-only service and Surge's independence from any broker, dealer or bank combined with its rapid access to a vast source of quotes enable it to give the best possible execution to its clients.

The dealing function is backed up by an in-house bespoke back-office system which is tailored to meet the specific and special requirements of Surge Trading SA and its clients. The constant development being undertaken combined with the system's flexibility allow Surge to offer its clients a wide range of facilities and services. Up-to-date information on positions can be obtained via a Surge modem link connecting directly to the client's computer thus allowing them to manage positions and risk as efficiently and as effectively as possible. All Surge's back-office staff are fluent in more than one foreign language and are fully conversant with all areas of back-office functionality. They are always at hand to liaise in a professional and efficient manner with clients on any query, problem or request.


The Swiss code of confidentiality 'banking secrecy' is viewed as a fundamental right of freedom and the respect of one's rights as an individual. This discretion is a business tradition which, although present in many other countries, is reinforced by Swiss Law, whereby a violation of the individual's rights is considered a criminal offence. All clients are given absolute discretion.

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