London based prime of prime brokerage service provider Stater Global Markets made an announcement earlier today stating that it is closing down its business as its parent company SBL holdings decided to stop funding the operations of the firm. Stater Global Markets is owned by Stater Holdings, which was recently renamed into Stater Blockchain Limited Holdings (SBL Holdings).
As per an article in finance magnates website based on details provided by the firm, the parent company SBL holdings has decided to pursue alternative business opportunities and stopped investing in the FCA-regulated firm to use the funds for its alternative project. Owing to the lack of required funding to continue providing its high-level service offerings, the company has decided to suspend its business operations as the top level management is against providing degraded product and service offerings.
When speaking about the firm’s decision to suspend its operations, Ramy Soliman Chief Executive Officer of Stater Global Market commented, “Stater has built a reputation for excellence over the last three years, offering a truly agnostic Prime of Prime solution. It goes against our ethos to continue with a degraded service”.
Since its launch back in October 2016, the prime of prime brokerage which is located in London has focused on and ensured that it offers its institutional clients with access to Tier 1 bank and non-bank liquidity and clearing services and institutional grade technology for Forex and CFD trading activities. Ramy also mentioned that the management initially sought funding from multiple sources to continue its business operations but decided to close its operations finally as they were unable to secure required funding to continue their business services and product offerings.
As per the statement released by the firm, it has notified both UK’s FCA and its client of its current scenario and decision to terminate its business. Soliman’s exact words were quote, “Unfortunately, despite having created a viable business with a growing client base and an excellent and experienced team, without continued financial support it is very difficult to compete with the commercials offered by our larger peers. We have decided to cease the business at an early stage to ensure our clients are treated fairly and whilst our reputation is strong”.
While the company has declared that it will close its operations shortly, they have yet to declare the exact date until when it will continue offering its business services. This can also be viewed in such a way that higher management is on the lookout for alternative funding options and could scrap the plan to suspend business activities in case they manage to secure required funding from alternative pathways.
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Beeks Financial Cloud Group has acquired the assets of Commercial Network Services; a US-based online service provider specialized in hosting low latency algorithmic trading systems, virtual private networks, and streaming media from data centers in London, New York, and Los Angeles.
CNS, which was founded in 2000 and now serves approximately 1,000 retail traders across multiple geographies, for a total consideration of up to $1.4 million, with $1.3 million being settled in cash on completion and $0.1 million being held as retention subject to the satisfactory completion of warranties.
Bringing an annualized recurring revenue of approximately $1.0 million, CNS will also promote synergies by adding new customers and data center locations to Beeks’ retail offering. The firm, which is expected to be earnings enhancing within the first full year of Beeks’ ownership, has made a profit before tax of $0.17 million in 2018.
The deal is in line with the growth strategy drawn ever since the 2017 IPO, combining organical growth with tactical and strategic acquisitions. At the time, Beeks was valued at £24.5 million as it aimed to raise £7 million from several institutional investors such as Hargreave Hale, Octopus, and Livingbridge.
Beeks, driven by upselling to existing clients and onboarding of new institutional clients, has chosen to use part of the money raised on strengthening its retail business. Gordon McArthur, CEO of Beeks Financial Cloud, told The Industry Spread that they are always on the look-out for further M&A opportunities.
“This acquisition does not change our focus with regards to institutions as we cater for both retail and institutional clients, but was an opportunity to supplement our retail offering.”
The $1.4 million deal has allowed the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider for automated trading in Forex, Futures, Equities, Fixed income and cryptocurrency financial products to scale its business further.
“At the time of our IPO, we stated our belief that the fragmented nature of our industry would provide us with the potential to augment our organic growth with both bolt-on and strategic acquisitions. Commercial Network Services is a profitable business whose services reflect those we offer to retail traders. The business, therefore, fits well within our acquisition criteria and we anticipate will be a valuable addition to the Group”, McArthur stated.
Dr. Demetrios Zamboglou has joined BABB – a UK-based decentralised bank as its new Chief Operating Officer. Prior to BABB, Zamboglou was Chief Operating Officer at ICON Capital Reserve – a UK-based Fintech Company which focuses on synergizing the value of gold with blockchain technology. BABB has announced that their intention is to create a “bank for everyone” and “world bank for the micro economy”. BABB has developed its banking infrastructure and services using blockchain based regulatory mechanisms and has raised around 20,000 Ether (initially valued at USD 20m) in capital and is working actively to relay financial services into hands of individuals and businesses worldwide. BABB has stated that it will use biometrics including facial and voice recognition to provide individuals with secure banking services while facilitating organisations to engage in frictionless trade aided by the firm’s financial product offerings.
According to reports published by finance magnates website, Demetrios is expected to play a major role in the company’s broader market strategy and in his new role as Chief Operating Officer will focus entirely on structuring the firm’s market operations and delivering BABB’s operational strategy. Demetrios’s forward-looking operational philosophy is very similar to BABB’s Founder and CEO Rushd Averroes making him an ideal candidate for his role as BABB given the responsibilities and scope of work that comes along with the position of COO. Demetrios holds a PhD in Behavioral Finance from King’s College located in London and over 13 years of firsthand experience from working in various fields in financial sector such as Fintech start-ups, brokers and top-tier investment firms having held various positions of managerial capacity making him an expert in Forex, cryptocurrencies and blockchain based technology and markets. In his new role as COO, Demetrios is expected to help the firm on creating new profit centres using the knowledge gained from his vast experience and understating of exchanges, brokers and investment firms.
He will also oversee the launch of their purpose built user-focused applications and also help in the development of functionality required to allow up-scaling the app to support millions of users. When speaking about his new role as COO at BABB, Demetrios commented that joining BABB was a no brainer and stated “This is the first time in my life that I am able to make a significant contribution to society, so I am honored by the opportunity to work with BABB and the chance to fulfill the potential made possible by blockchain technology”. Speaking about the appointment of Demetrios as COO, Rushd Averroes, CEO of BABB commented, “I am very pleased to have Dr Zamboglou as part of the Babb team. We have big ambitions to make a global impact on the financial market, and Dr. Zamboglou’s background and experience embody the kind of people that we seek to have in order to drive our activities forward”.
Please feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.
Sucden Financial Ltd is a UK based broker famous for its derivatives and forex services. The company has been active for more than four decades and is one of the ring-dealing members at the London Metal Exchange (LME) giving them access to major global exchanges which enables the company to offer their clients with fast, direct access to worldwide electronic markets. Sucden financials is now making changes to its eFX trading division and as part of the change, the company has hired Alan Amari as a new sales executive. Prior to joining Sucden Financials, Alan worked as an analyst and eFX sales executive at Parabellum Markets LLP for a period of nearly five years. While Alan joined Parabellum as an analyst post completing his bachelor’s degree, he soon shifted to eFX sales where he spent the majority of his tenure.
At Sucden Financials, Alan will be working under Kirsty Gillies – global head of eFX sales at the broker house. Kirsty herself is relatively new at the broker house having joined Sucden Financials last November. Kirsty has significant experience in the electronic trading sector having held high-level positions such as Assistant VP and Executive director of eFX sales at Barclays Capital, UK, and UBS, UK/Ireland as per her LinkedIn profile. Kirsty has gained significant knowledge and experience on various fields and aspects pertaining to the forex industry such as Foreign Exchange, Liquidity Management, Non-Bank Prime Brokerage and Algorithms for Hedge Funds, Proprietary Trading Firms, Banks, HNWI, Corporate and Retail Broker clients.
Speaking about her role as global head of eFX sales at Sucden Financial Ltd at the time of joining the firm, Kirsty stated that she is delighted to work at Sucden Financials and aims to strengthen the firm’s position on a global level by leveraging her skills and experience to advance the firm’s sales strategy for eFX division as per report in Finance Magnates website. The company has lately increased its efforts to expand its multi-asset services as per a report published by the firm last month, and the audited accounts at year ending on 31st December 2018 saw significantly higher profit and revenues. The company saw net profit increase to 16.4 million GBP compared to 10.9 million GBP in 2017 while net revenues rose to 63.3 million GBP compared to 48.7 million GBP in 2017 which is clear evidence that the moves made by the brokerage to improve its business is yielding visible results.
Please feel free to let us know what you think in the comments below.
The Supervisory Board newly elected at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders held its first meeting on 25 April 2019. At the Board meeting, Oleg Viyugin, independent director, was re-elected as Chairman of the Supervisory Board.
Audit Committee members: Paul Bodart, Maria Gordon, Alexander Izosimov and Rainer Riess. Maria Gordon was elected the Chairperson.
Budget Committee members: Mikhail Bratanov, Maria Gordon and Andrey Golikov. Andrey Golikov was elected the Chairperson.
Nomination and Remuneration Committee members: Mikhail Bratanov, Oleg Viyugin, Maria Gordon and Alexander Izosimov. Mikhail Bratanov was elected the Chairperson.
Strategy Planning Committee members: Iliya Bakhturin, Paul Bodart, Oleg Viyugin, Andrey Golikov, Dmitriy Eremeev, and Rainer Riess. Rainer Riess was elected the Chairperson.
Technical Policy Committee members: Dmitriy Eremeev, Alexander Izosimov, Vladimir Kurlyandchik, Kirill Menshov and Yuriy Yartsev. Alexander Izosimov was elected the Chairperson.
Risk Management Committee members: Mikhail Bratanov, Andrey Golikov and Valeriy Goreglyad. Andrey Golikov was elected the Chairperson.
Moscow Exchange seeks to continuously strengthen its corporate governance and to increase the number of independent directors on the Board. The Board currently is comprised of 12 directors, seven of whom have been recognized as independent.
Acquisition to Accelerate the Growth and Delivery of Cybersecurity services and platforms globally.
Mumbai, March 22, 2019: NSEIT, a wholly owned subsidiary of NSE, today announced acquisition of a global cybersecurity company, Aujas Networks Limited (Aujas) to further strengthen its cybersecurity offerings. NSEIT will help Aujas scale its services and capabilities, with a strong focus on helping customers stay ahead of IT security challenges. Aujas founded in 2008, provides information security consulting and IT risk management services with operations in India, Middle East and North America. Aujas has 400 skilled cybersecurity professionals and over 390 customers globally. The service portfolio includes Information risk advisory, identity & access management, threat management and security analytics.
NSEIT provides a range of information technology services to the exchange ecosystem, banking, financial service and insurance (BFSI) for close to two decades and is constantly growing its offering in the digital, analytics and cybersecurity space. Today’s acquisition will help NSEIT provide globally benchmarked cybersecurity offering to enterprises, including cybersecurity assessments, risk management, cutting edge security product implementation and security monitoring & response.
Mr. Vikram Limaye, MD & CEO, NSE said, “NSE has played a transformative role in Indian capital markets. NSE is constantly looking for opportunities to further strengthen and secure the capital market ecosystem. Cybersecurity is key to secure the exchange ecosystem and BFSI. Towards this, NSE Group aims to setup the requisite security infrastructure to continue the transformative drive.”
Mr. N Muralidharan, CEO & MD, NSEIT said, “The combination with Aujas helps us offer next generation cybersecurity services and platforms to address emerging security threats. NSEIT and Aujas will focus on offering market leading solutions to customers globally. Aujas is a perfect fit due to its expertise in cybersecurity transformation services, strong team, and global customers.”
Mr. Sameer Shelke, CEO, Aujas said, “Aujas is now a significant company in the cybersecurity market, working with organizations globally to build and transform their security strategies and controls. Aligning to the NSE Group would enable us to accelerate growth in newer competencies and enhance opportunities for our fantastic team.”
Aujas will continue to be led by the current management team, Mr. Sameer Shelke will lead Aujas as its Chief Executive Officer, while Mr. Srinivas Rao will serve as Mentor. Financial terms of the private transaction were not disclosed. DCS Advisory India was the exclusive financial advisor for Aujas and its shareholders. Samvād: Partners acted as the legal advisor for Aujas, while Vaish Associates acted as the legal advisor for NSEIT.
NSEIT is a leading technology firm with focus on capital market ecosystem, banking and insurance. We offer a range of digital, analytics, automation, cybersecurity and technology enabled services. We are a 100% subsidiary of National Stock Exchange of India. We have been assessed at Maturity Level 5 in Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development (CMMI® – DEV) and certified for ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013 for our information security management systems.
About National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE):
National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE) is the leading stock exchange in India and the second largest in the world by nos. of trades in equity shares from January to December 2018, according to World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) report. NSE was the first exchange in India to implement electronic or screen-based trading. It began operations in 1994 and is ranked as the largest stock exchange in India in terms of total and average daily turnover for equity shares every year since 1995, based on SEBI data. NSE has a fully-integrated business model comprising exchange listings, trading services, clearing and settlement services, indices, market data feeds, technology solutions and financial education offerings. NSE also oversees compliance by trading and clearing members with the rules and regulations of the exchange. NSE is a pioneer in technology and ensures the reliability and performance of its systems through a culture of innovation and investment in technology. NSE believes that the scale and breadth of its products and services, sustained leadership positions across multiple asset classes in India and globally enable it to be highly reactive to market demands and changes and deliver innovation in both trading and non-trading businesses to provide high-quality data and services to market participants and clients. For more information, please visit: www.nseindia.com
HPR (Hyannis Port Research) has launched CRM-X, the newest version of its Central Risk Manager (CRM), which provides a real-time, pan-regional view of risk that encompasses all equities markets globally.
With CRM-X, the provider of advanced capital markets infrastructure (CMI) technologies aims to solve one of the most significant operational challenges faced by global banks and trading firms, who typically manage operations via regional silos.
Powered by its service-oriented architecture that underpins the firm’s entire technology platform, CRM-X is able to provide management teams with a single view of risk across more than 90 markets globally despite their disparate regulatory requirements, currencies and market structures.
Anthony Amicangioli, Founder and CEO of HPR, said:
“A unified, global, pre-, at- and post-trade risk management system has long been an aspirational goal of the industry’s most sophisticated brokers and trading entities. CRM-X will enable firms to ‘follow the sun’ and leverage cross-regional margin accounts globally. Without question, there is a movement today toward a singular, global trading grid that emulates the service-oriented architectures employed by the largest cloud-native technology companies. The major banks and trading firms appreciate the remarkable efficiencies these architectures provide. The launch of CRM-X on the Unimus framework is another example of how HPR is extremely focused on helping them to achieve that vision.”
Tom Wilson, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development, added:
“We spent our first years at HPR working on developing the industry’s most advanced trading platform and hardware. We then widened our focused to enhance our software, networking and application framework. Our two most recent products – Omnibot and CRM-X – represent the fruits of that strategy. We are excited about these launches and believe that HPR is well-positioned to continue helping the industry’s leading market participants transform their technology infrastructures, and effectively compete over the coming decades.”
HPR has recently introduced significant new offerings, including Omnibot – a networking device that integrates direct market access, risk management, data delivery and latency capture functionality into a multi-application switch – and the rollout of its Riskbot platform – an ultra-low latency market access and pre-trade risk management system that now includes support for the critical HK-China Stock Connects.
HPR was named “Best Pre-Trade Risk Controls Provider” at the 2018 Intelligent Trading Technology Awards. The company’s pre-trade risk platform, which includes its two flagship products Riskbot and Softbot, targets banks and brokers who provide sponsored access services. Approximately 15% of the Australian market’s equity volume and approximately 10% of the US market’s equity volume is handled by the two products.
Japan-headquartered retail FX broker, Invast Securities has released its monthly operational metrics for the month of March 2019, showing a full recovery in performance after the disappointing February month.
The broker reported operating revenue of ¥421 million ($3.76 million) for March 2019, registering a 10.7 per cent month-on-month growth in revenue from ¥380 million. But, it has failed to reach the operating revenue level achieved in January 2019, which was ¥457 million. However, the March comeback is strong and is also higher by 19.9 per cent on a year-on-year basis from ¥351 million in March of 2018.
While the operating revenue is in the positive front during the March month, the total amount of deposited margin is reverse from the current trend. The month-on-month deposit margin has fallen to ¥81.98 million, which is one per cent lower from the deposited margin of ¥82.81 million in February 2019.
The February deposit margin figures were the best in the last 13 months. Although the March deposit margin is slightly lower than that of February month, overall it is still stronger compared to January 2019 figure, and when compared on a yearly timeframe, the deposit margin figure is close to 10 per cent higher from ¥73.64 million in March 2018.
FFAJ Reports March Trading Volume Data in OTC FX & Binary Options
The Financial Futures Association of Japan (FFAJ) has published its monthly trading volume for retail FX margin trading operators as well as OTC binary options dealers for the month of March 2019.
In the month of March, FFAJ had a total of 54 registered OTC forex margin trading operators, same as of the previous month. During the month, the Tokyo Financial Exchange (TFX) OTC trading volume came in at ¥287.9 trillion ($2.6 trillion), which is 17.38 per cent higher compared to the previous month.
The USDJPY and other Cross YEN trading pair had a trading volume of ¥249.4 trillion in the month of March, which is 17.22 per cent higher compared to the previous month which was at ¥212.7 trillion.
The trading volume for on-exchange contracts also reported an increase of 12.89 per cent on a month-on-month comparison from ¥1.76 trillion in February to ¥1.98 trillion in March.
The trading volume for binary options in March 2019 reached ¥31.8 billion, which is 8.5 per cent higher from the trading volume of ¥29.3 billion in February but is still lower than ¥35 billion recorded in January of 2019.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is a self-regulatory organization created in 2007 when the regulatory arms of NYSE and NASD merged.
Tony Cavallaro heads the CRG, and he was the latest guest on FINRA’s podcast, Unscripted.
Cavallaro said that following key investigative missteps in the Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford cases, FINRA went through a review in 2009.
FINRA revolutionized not only how it investigated wrongdoing but also processed information.
Two ideas were the creation of the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence (OFDMI), and its nerve center, the Central Review Group, which Cavallaro runs.
The CRG is one of four groups within OFDMI and the head of the insider trading group, Sam Draddy, had also previously been a guest on Unscripted.
As previously mentioned, the CRG is referred to as FINRA’s point guard and Cavallaro explained why, “Since we’re responsible for reviewing pretty much all the incoming matters into FINRA, and then working with a bunch of people determining the right place within FINRA; it’s a perfect name for the central review group.”
Cavallaro said information comes in different ways: media, corporate filings, whistleblowers, and others.
It can also trigger a variety of actions. A news story on a fraud by a broker/dealer could trigger an investigation to remove their FINRA license.
In another case, it turned into an alert for member firms. In this case, information which came into the CRG led to the uncovering of a phishing email scam. Here is part of a press release at the time, February 13, 2019.
“FINRA warns member firms to be on the lookout for a fraudulent phishing email that is currently circulating. Brokerage firms reported to FINRA that they had received suspicious emails targeting their compliance personnel. The email appears to be from a legitimate credit union attempting to notify the firm about potential money laundering involving a purported client of the firm.” FINRA stated. “The email directs the recipient to open an attached document—which likely contains a malicious virus or malware designed to obtain unauthorized access to the recipient’s computer network.”
In another case, FINRA uncovered a scam involving fake checks purportedly from FINRA. Here is part of that press release.
“Fake checks purported to be issued by FINRA appear to be back in circulation in 2019. FINRA fielded two calls in late February from individuals who received unexpected ‘FINRA’ checks. The checks are counterfeit and may arrive by special delivery and require a recipient’s signature.” FINRA stated. “The arrival of these checks may be linked to job search scams, though some past callers noted that there appeared to be no direct reference to a job search relationship accompanying the mailing—just a check out of the blue. We are updating and reissuing this alert to reiterate the risks of cashing unexpected checks and offer tips to avoid being a check scam victim.”
In other cases, it could lead to a more mundane but helpful result, for a member firm. Cavallaro noted that in 2011 FINRA changed rules so that an amendment on a filing called the U5 did not also have to be done on another form, which was the rule until then.
Even though it is eight years later, Cavallaro said he still gets – as recently as last month- duplicate filings.
In that case, the firm is contacted and made aware of the rule. Thus, the firm saves precious time on paperwork.