What comes to your mind whenever you think of Monaco?

I immediately think of luxury, posh yachts, and casinos from old James Bond’s movies.

When my wife and I got our invitations to join the multiple VT in Monaco events, we were excited yet we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. 

Taking part in business and networking events is quite common in my schedule. But this was the first exclusive event that we would attend in Monaco. I have previously heard of the annual yacht show that takes place in the country every September. Besides that, no other close links.

That was my first time visiting Monaco – the second smallest country in the world after the Vatican. I later learned that its territory is a bit over 2 square kilometers. Still, it is jam-packed with buildings and homes with a population of almost 40,000, a quarter of which are natives and a third being millionaires. 

And there is an objective reason for this: Monaco is considered a tax haven. Its residents don’t have to pay corporate and income taxes. Yet, to become a resident, you need to place a hefty deposit and have proof of real estate lease or acquisition. At the same time, the county offers high standards of living.

Casual Fridays in Monaco > Casual Fridays anywhere else

Day 1: the arrival

That day, the flights got delayed or canceled across Europe due to the strikes of air traffic controllers in France. Even though the matter was settled on Wednesday that week, some flights were still canceled the next day due to the last-minute nature of negotiations between the unions and the authorities.

There are no airports in Monaco and the Nice airport in France is the closest one to the country. From there, it took us about 30 minutes to get to our hotel – Fairmont Monte Carlo – and what immediately caught my attention was a crowd of passersby frantically taking photos of the road next to it. 

It turns out the hotel is located at the famous bend of the Monaco Grand Prix track – it is the most difficult yet the most exciting turn of the race. I have heard of Formula 1 before, but never followed it. This trip has already changed this habit.

After settling in the hotel, we attended the VT Markets welcome dinner with guests from across the globe – investors, traders, business partners, journalists, VIPs, and company representatives. Meeting new interesting people, having inspiring conversations, and engaging in fun thought-provoking discussions were the highlights of the evening.


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A post shared by Arthur Gopak (@arthur_gopak)

Day 2: the press conference and the yacht experience

The day started with the press conference where representatives of VT Markets and Maserati MSG Racing spoke on the nature of the partnership between the award-winning brokerage and the Formula E powerhouse. 

As I learned during the press conference, VT Markets is a regulated brokerage that serves customers from some 160+ countries. It holds multiple international accolades, with the most recent ones being Fastest Growing Broker, Europe, and Best Multi-Asset Broker, MENA.

As I learned during the conference, racing teams rely on sponsorships and their own savings to prepare for the competitions. The larger the financial backing, the better equipment and training, thus the higher the chances of winning the race.

Jon Jackson, the Formula E presenter and producer (on the left), and Ludovic Moncla, Head of Affiliates at VT Markets told the audience about the reasons why we all were there ‍

“In today’s environment, traders and investors want the best execution, the best news, the best tools” – said Ludovic Moncla, Head of Affiliates at VT Markets – “Just like in Formula E, racers are equipped with the best tools to win. Traders are no different.” 

For modern financial companies to succeed, they need to invest heavily in technology and follow the latest innovation trends to make a better offering for their clients. “Traders don’t want to hear about the backend and frontend issues, they just want to have convenient access to manage their trades and to take advantage of opportunities markets present to them.” 

The company is definitely proud of its mobile app, praised by its users also. In light of the new partnership, they even incorporated visuals of the Maserati MSG Racing car in the opening screen. 

VT Markets is a multi-asset brokerage that cares about the latest technology trends in FinTech, top-notch performance, and sustainability. To me, the support of Maserati MSG Racing in Monaco E-Prix is a great way to put the money where the mouth is. 

Another unique twist is that Maserati MSG Racing takes part in Formula E. Formula E has a sustainability focus, leaving zero waste – starting with the paper water cups that they serve their pit stop crews with and finishing off with the cars being fully electric. 

As the owner of Maserati MSG Racing, Scott Swid, said: ‘You’re not going to solve climate change without solving the mobility challenges first.’ They see the potential in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by using the E-Prix as a platform to drive innovation in sustainable mobility.

Got autographs from the riders: Maximilian Günther (in the white sweater) and Jehan Daruvala (in the blue jacket)

I found it interesting to learn that as many female spectators watch F1 as their male counterparts and that Formula E is the fastest-growing motor sport in the world.

After the lunch break, exclusive guests were invited on a private yacht trip on an impressive catamaran waving VT Markets banners. While it was raining outside, it wasn’t raining at our parade: the yacht was comfortably large, able to fit over 80 people indoors, so we could spend time indoors whenever the rain was unbearable. 

Monaco offers many scenic sights you can’t appreciate entirely unless you observe them from a sea vessel or a plane. I enjoyed having casual business conversations while tasting wine and admiring the Monaco landscapes from the yacht. 

If you get a chance, rent a boat to enjoy the views, they are spectacular!

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Day 3: the race

The third day culminated in the actual Monaco E-Prix tournament. What I found impressive is that the country is so well-prepared to host the race and that you could tell there was a noticeable spike in the number of guests coming to see it.

The city roads were mostly blocked in such a way that you wouldn’t see the actual race unless you took a spot at certain public tribunes that are free or the larger tribunes that you have to pay for. 

Did a last-minute check-up before the race. This car is ready to go ️️️

Out of 22 participating racers, 2 couldn’t make it – one racer had his tire blown off due to high tension and another contestant lost control and hit the banner. The Maserati MSG Racing drivers – Maximilian Günther and Jehan Daruvala – delivered encouraging performance in the Qualifying and started inside the Top 10.

However, the race was challenging. With the initial head start, the Maserati MSG team was able to get into the Top 5 in the race but eventually lost a few positions and got into the Top 10. 

What I’ve noticed during the race is that other drivers worked as a team, not allowing the cars behind them to overtake them. At such high speeds and the crazy turns as the Monaco track has, this just shows the high level of racers’ preparation.

I think the Maserati MSG Racing team has all the chances to win since the team took 2 podiums and scored 1 absolute win just last year.

Yet I’ve noticed from my own experience of participating in competitions that when you have an incredibly high level of participants’ preparation, most of the time other aspects, not the talent nor the number of hours invested in preparation, become the determining factor in winning a race. 

After the tournament, together with my wife, I went exploring the streets of Monaco.

Since Monaco has one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the world, it’s not surprising to see many high-class boutiques in the area. We visited a few – Louis Vuitton, Céline, Tiffany & Co (they opened the day before the race!) – and pampered ourselves with some gifts after the event.

Monaco Tourism Board didn’t pay us to take this photo

Looking ahead

So far, this has been one of the best press conferences and networking events that I have ever been to. Kudos to VT Markets for making this event happen. 

I will keep my fingers crossed for the Maserati MSG Racing team. An entire season is still ahead of them, so I wish them to successfully perform at the next E-Prix in Berlin on May 10.

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