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Foreign exchange company sets up shop in Saskatoon

Published June 9, 2015

By Scott Larson, The StarPhoenix June 9, 2015

Peter Gustavson

Business clients across Saskatchewan are underserved when it comes to foreign exchange services, says Peter Gustavson.

That’s why he has opened up branch offices in Saskatoon and Regina for his new venture, EncoreFX, which provides foreign exchange services to corporate clients across Canada, and soon further afield.

“In Saskatchewan there is no trading floor, there is nobody that local entrepreneurs, local business owners, local CFOs can speak to about their foreign exchange needs,” Gustavson said. “It is probably the most under-developed market in Canada from a bank perspective.”

He said his team in Saskatoon can meet one-on-one with customers “to make sure that Saskatchewan businesses can thrive and grow just as quickly as the ones in Toronto or Vancouver.”

Gustavson is no stranger to the industry.

The Manitoba native founded the foreign exchange company Custom House Ltd. with $35,000 and three staff members in 1992. It became one of the world’s largest non-bank foreign exchange companies, with more than 40,000 corporate clients worldwide; in 2009, Gustavson sold it to Western Union for US$370 million.

Now that his five year non-compete period has ended, Gustavson has launched EncoreFX ( with the opening of several branches across the country.

EncoreFX provides access to foreign exchange markets for companies of all sizes. Its exchange services include competitive spot transactions and rates, international payments to suppliers through reliable payment networks, and long-term risk management strategies to help mitigate risks a company is exposed to when doing business in foreign currencies.

Gustavson said he decided to get back into the business after talking with former colleagues.

“A lot of them were seeing changes in the industry that have not been positive,” he said.

By the end of the year, the company expects to have about 60 employees, of which 85 per cent are former Custom House employees, including the EncoreFX president.

“We have established the core team to build out the business,” Lennox said in a release. “With the core in place the intent is to hire new people we can nurture to learn the business.”

Leading the team in Saskatchewan is senior vice president Cyril Denis.

“We have a combined 50 years of experience in the industry,” Denis said of the six staff located in the province.

He said being nearby and being able to meet face-to-face with clients is critical.

“(We can) go to their office to analyze their needs and requirements,” he said. “Then come back with a strategic plan to better their situation.”

Gustavson said every business has an opportunity, and a threat, when it comes to foreign exchange. He said EncoreFX can offer direction on how to best exploit opportunities, but also avoid the pitfalls associated with foreign exchange.

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