Following a period in which the global pandemic caused huge suffering and loss of life, there is an urgent need now, more than ever before, for companies to utilise their core strengths to fulfil their social responsibility. With the increasing impact of organizations on society, corporate governance has become a vital aspect as well. Plus500 understands the importance of aligning corporate activities with their communities’ interests to build an equitable, sustainable and inclusive economy.
The Israel-based global fintech firm, with a premium listing on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (symbol: PLUS), has always operated under the vision of opening up the global markets, making it accessible to traders at all levels of experience. It is one of the fastest-growing CFD providers enabling unparalleled conditions for trading in forex, equities, commodities, cryptocurrencies, ETFs and indices. As a fully regulated broker, client safety has always been a priority with client funds kept in separate bank accounts. This means that client funds are kept to the company’s operating funds, protecting their deposits against any eventualities.
Technical innovation has been key to the company’s success and the Plus500 app is one of the highest-rated CFD trading app in the Apple app store and on Google Play. In 2020 the company stepped up its efforts to fulfil its commitment to giving back to the communities in which it operates through a number of proactive steps in 2020.
Plus500 Takes the Lead in Employee Welfare and Social Responsibility
Covid-19 led to a drastic shift in work policies and culture worldwide. Plus500, operating through multiple subsidiaries across the world, quickly realised the importance of supporting its globally based employees to help them tackle the challenges brought on by the pandemic and continuing lockdowns.
For a highly regulated financial services company, ensuring compliance in a remote working scenario was of utmost importance. Providing employees with the means to work within a compliant environment, without compromising on services to customers, was a primary goal. To achieve this, as well as providing the right technology and tools, support with childcare and employee well-being was also crucial.
The company also supported its local charities and hospitals through monetary contributions, which were used to purchase medical equipment and supplies for critical care facilities at the height of the pandemic.
The company also made donations to several local vulnerable communities that were impacted by the economic shock of the pandemic. In the absence of a means of livelihood, many disadvantaged families were unable to afford their children’s education, which had shifted online. The company contributed laptops and IT equipment to support distance learning for these families.
Contribution Towards the Australian Bush Fire Relief
Plus500 remains a key player in the regulated Australian market. The country, which was impacted by the Australian bushfires in mid-January 2020, has seen long-lasting damage to the country’s biodiversity, ecology and public health as a result of the catastrophic event.
To help local communities recover from this tragedy, Plus500 contributed to fundraising efforts by a number of charities that were supporting relief activities. As a main sponsor of the Australian rugby union team, The Brumbies, Plus500 also supported the #WeAreOne campaign to support the recovery and rebuilding effort.
Establishment of Environmental, Social & Governance Committee
Plus500 is one of the leading fintech innovators that also takes its responsibilities towards society and the environment seriously. To review the company’s activities in these areas and align them with industry best practices, it recently established a committee on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG).
The key areas of governance for the ESG Committee will include determining ESG priorities and risk factors. It will also carve out the future framework of its approach to these areas.
Commitment to Gender and Talent Diversity
Over the past 12 months, Plus500 has made several changes in its top organisational structure, to continue to broaden its expertise and increase diversity across the board. In the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September 2020, the company announced the appointment of Anne Grim to its Board of Directors, as a Non-Executive Director. Ms Grim has over 3 decades of experience in the financial services sector, in areas of customer experience, technological innovation, strategic planning and execution. She has held several senior positions in large financial firms, most recently as Chief of Customer Services at Fidelity.
In February 2021, Sigalia Heifetz joined the Board of Directors in the capacity of Non-Executive Director. Over the years, Ms Heifetz has advised many Israel-based companies across different sectors, in their international expansion strategies.
Plus500 has appointed Tami Gottlieb as External and Non-Executive Director. Ms Gottlieb has extensive experience in the financial services sector, in the areas of investment banking, corporate finance, business development and M&A. She currently serves as External Director of Bank Leumi; one of Israel’s largest commercial banks.
In early May 2021, Plus500 welcomed Professor Jacob A. Frenkel, a renowned global economist and business leader, to the role of Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. Serving on a number of high-profile boards, Professor Frenkel is the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Group of Thirty (“G-30”), a private non-profit consultative group on international economic and monetary affairs. Professor Frenkel has a track record of over 40 years in global macroeconomics, during which time he has built up significant experience in leading and advising a number of high profile multi-national financial institutions, including inter alia, JPMorgan Chase, AIG, Merrill Lynch.
These key changes are in line with the company’s commitment to enhancing diversity, which helps it provide services tailored to each region, taking into account the local culture, needs and preferences.
It also illustrates the Group’s continued investment in recruiting high calibre talent and expertise from different parts of the world, reflecting its commitment to strengthening its robust functional infrastructure and resources.
Evolution from a CFD Tech Provider to a Multi-Asset Fintech Group
Over the next few years, the company is set to implement strategic plans to expand its offerings in new markets and develop new financial and trading products, apart from CFDs.
Through organic investments in R&D and marketing tech capabilities, the company also aims to continue acquiring new clients, supporting them with superior trading performance and expanding their trading opportunities.
In line with this vision, Plus500 is set to acquire US-based Cunningham Commodities LLC., a regulated Futures Commission Merchant and Cunningham Trading Systems LLC., a technology trading platform provider, operating in the futures, and options on futures, market in the US. The acquisition represents a major growth opportunity for Plus500, allowing the company to instantly expand its geographic footprint.
While 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, Plus500 continued to grow from strength to strength due to its commitment to providing customer-first services and supporting its employees to work to their best ability, even in the remote working environment. As a result, the company witnessed the strong operational and financial performance. Plus500’s proprietary technology was key to managing the significant increase in trading volumes in 2020.
With an effective corporate governance framework and a strategy for continued product innovation, the company is well-positioned to further its position as a global market leader in the fintech sector.