After emerging from two consecutive years of corporate losses, one of UK’s largest FX, CFD & financial spread betting providers, Alpari UK, is undergoing a number of strategic changes as it aims to weather the turbulent storm that hails over the global retail FX landscape.
As re-structuring takes place, both on the product and personnel level, the firm hopes to turn over a new leaf. The latest news of the departure of two key personnel; Mushegh Tovmasyan, Chief Commercial Officer, and Brian Myers, Head of Sales, both brought in to bolster the front office in 2010, is a sign of the difficulties in the sector.
For four years Alpari UK has blossomed and competed on the highest level on a global scale as FX rose to fame among global investors. In its home market, the UK, it has established itself as the main MT4 FX broker, and was one of the first providers to launch financial spread betting on the terminal.
Over this period the firm has vigorously contested with industry peers in developing and enhancing its product and platform portfolio, however, like several brokers the core offering e.g MT4, still holds solace in the retail FX market.
Among the wave of changes, the firm has recently discarded its social trading product, TraderConnect. The firm announced the change on its corporate website, stating: “The Forex forum was switched off on Monday, 2 June, 2014 and is no longer available for use.” According to a person close to the matter, the copy and mirror trading concept failed to take shape at the London-based firm.
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The UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority, has been reviewing the status of social trading as more and more firms promote the service. The regulator wrote letters to a number of brokers and providers, and the product is expected to fall under discretionary trading rulings.
Alpari UK was unavailable for immediate comment.
Apart from Musheg and Brian, Chantelle Johnson, Head of Marketing and the CEO of Alpari’s Middle East operation, Iskandar Najjar left the organization last month.
This follows on from changes at top management, current CEO, David Hodge, took over from Daniel Skowronski. He became CEO in 2012 when he replaced one of the founding members, Andrey Vedikhin.
The volatile retail FX sector continues to face difficulties in light of low-volatility on the global markets, thus impacting trader behaviour. Latest monthly metrics from leading brokers show the slump in trading activity.
Forex Magnates expects a number of brokers to retract as they shuffle to rebuild their strategy. Alpari UK isn’t alone in key personnel changes, London-based City Index and Canadian origin Oanda have succumbed to the dire trading environment.