Upon becoming regulated with the FCA in the UK last year, social trading broker eToro has been migrating more of its operations into the country. Speaking to CEO Yoni Assia last year, he explained to Forex Magnates that this will include both its core compliance and dealing activities in the UK from what has previously been conducted exclusively in Cyprus. Solidifying their foothold in the UK, eToro has recently hired Paul Chrimes as its new Director of UK Business.
Chrimes arrives from MIG Bank where he was the broker’s COO during the period of its sale to publicly traded Swissquote. Before that he was employed as the CEO of E*Trade’s international operations in the UK. At eToro, Chrimes is expected to provide broker related experience in operating within the UK and EU jurisdictions.
Commenting to Forex Magnates about the hiring, Yoni Assia stated:”eToro is thrilled to have Paul on board with us. Paul brings with him a tremendous amount of experience. I am confident that with Paul on board, we will continue to achieve great things and spearhead the financial revolution lead by the UK as its heart and global centre.” Paul Chrimes added, “I am delighted to join eToro and am excited and looking forward to using my experience gained within the securities and Forex industries to assist this rapidly-growing and technologically advanced company launch its UK business.”
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Following Plus500’s successful floating of shares on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM marketplace last year, and subsequent run-up of their stock, there has been no shortage of brokers and technology providers being linked to potential IPOs. Among firms connected to possible IPOs are OANDA, Alpari and Anyoption, while several larger CySEC regulated brokers and a large binary options provider are also being linked to exploring the floating of shares.
As a venture backed fund, where early investors are known to seek definitive exit strategies before investing, by default eToro’s name will also appear on short lists of brokers with a goal of going public. After raising over $23 million over 2011 and 2012 to help fund eToro’s activity of completely pivoting to become a social trading broker, the broker has been quiet in the funding arena. The lack of additional investments could indicate that eToro has reached a point where it is achieving consistent profitability and able to fund its growth from its internal operations.
If they are in fact profitable and growing, while simultaneously creating an image of a global social trading brand with their UK regulations, it would put them in the direction of becoming an IPO candidate. In addition, having been launched in 2007, eToro has also reached the stage of its existence (6-8 years) where venture funds are typically expected to achieve fruition of an exit strategy which has begun to take place.
Although seemingly on the path for an IPO or towards an additional round of funding, representatives of eToro wouldn’t comment on what their plans are and if in fact Chrimes’ appointment and solidifying their presence in the UK is a step towards floating shares on the LSE.