It goes without saying that 2018 was a big year for the foreign exchange (FX) industry. Regulation has completely changed the sector over the past 12 months and, as a result, the industry has only gotten tougher for brokers to remain competitive, particularly within the retail space. As can be expected, this has led to some big executive moves within the industry.
During the year, Finance Magnates has been diligent in reporting all of the key executive moves that occurred. To celebrate 2018 coming to a close, we have compiled the “Top 5” moves in the forex industry during the past year that we reported, staring first with IG Group, one of the largest brokers in the world, based in the United Kingdom.
IG Group CEO Peter Hetherington steps down
In terms of monthly trading volume, IG Group topped 2018 as the largest broker in the forex sector. In September the firm made headlines when it announced that its CEO Peter Hetherington was stepping down from his position and the Board with immediate effect.
The move came seemingly out of nowhere, and brought an end to Hetherington’s 24-year-long tenure with the firm, as he originally joined IG in 1994. The market reflected this surprise, with the company’s shares falling by nearly 13 percent.
IG chief steps down as regulatory pressure mounts Shares in trading platform drop after unexpected departure of Peter Hetherington
— HydroFunds (@HydroFunds) September 27, 2018
At the time of the announcement, the retail brokerage powerhouse didn’t give an explanation for his departure. However, his shock resignation came only a week after IG reported a 5 percent decline in its first-quarter revenues. This was due to a drop in customer activity amid tightening regulation.
In October, IG revealed that it had managed to secure a new CEO – June Felix, replacing Paul Mainwaring, the company’s CFO, who took on the role of Interim CEO. Felix joined the broker from Verifone Europe and Russia, where she was the President. During her career, she has held a number of executive management positions at large multinational companies, such as Citibank and IBM Corporation.
Pepperstone confirms rumors, announces Tamas Szabo as Group CEO
The next big move for 2018 comes from Pepperstone Group, an Australian online retail forex broker that specializes in forex trading. Towards the beginning of the year in February, Finance Magnates reported that Tamas Szabo was appointed as the CEO for the Group.
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The move was largely a confirmation of rumors and reports that had surfaced before the announcement and was filed with the UK’s Companies House. According to his LinkedIn profile, Tamas Szabo has been the acting group CEO of Pepperstone since October of last year. He assumed his role with the Aussie broker after a long career with IG Markets.
Is Saxo Bank looking to replace CEO Kim Fournais?
It was a big year for Saxo Bank, with the multi-asset broker revealing that in September it had received all of the regulatory approvals to enable China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd and Finland’s Sampo plc to acquire shares in Saxo Bank A/S, elevating Geely to the majority shareholder.
During the past 12 months, the broker has announced a number of notable executive moves, including appointing Lars Kufall Beck as CFO, Damian Bunce as CCO and most notably Søren Kyhl as its Deputy CEO.
The appointment of Khyl as Deputy CEO was particularly interesting as the investment bank said in its statement at the time that:
“Søren [Khyl] is the natural and logical interim successor to Kim Fournais should that become necessary.”
While the Danish broker has given no indication that it plans to replace Fournais in the near future, it does appear that we should expect Khyl to be the next Saxo Bank CEO if and when that position becomes available.
HSBC Loses its Global Head of FX
HSBC, one of the largest banking and financial services organizations in the world, also experienced a notable executive move, with its Global Head of FX and Commodities stepping down in July.
The departure of Frederic Boillereau, who held the position for almost a decade, came as a result of the changes to a number of the bank’s business lines, ending his 20-year tenure with the firm.
Global Head of FX Sales at INTL FCStone quits
To wrap up the top five, we head to INTL FCStone, where its Global Head of FX Sales, Joe Conlan, left the financial services giant. The move saw the end of his more than a decade-long career with the company, having taken up his role in 2007.
According to information on his LinkedIn page, he left to be a Managing Director at Colabyrinth Tech LLC. While the nature of his new role is not clear, as we previously theorized, due to his extensive background in trading, the likelihood of it having an influence in his new role is high.