Social trading broker, eToro, continues to take steps to migrate its operations to its UK entity. Last month it was reported that the firm appointed Paul Chrimes, eToro UK Director. Adding to that development, the firm has filed new accounting reports which indicate that it has increased its capital from £654 to £1,116,001. In addition, the firm reported that it had created the beginning of wider equity structure, as it filed that it had allotted 390,000 shares. Reaching out to eToro, the broker didn’t comment on to whom shares were allotted to and any future options plans.
A representative did comment about the increase in capital stating, “As we are establishing our UK operations we are increasing the capital of the firm, this is standard in groups when money is transferred between group entities.” eToro though, didn’t answer our queries about whether the increase in capital is indicative of meeting regulatory capital requirements with the FCA as they establish more of their operations in the UK.
IronFX Opens New London Office
Also in the UK, Cyprus-based IronFX announced the opening of a new London-based office last week. According to the firm, the new office will be able to host up to 120 people and will operate in tandem with their existing Copthall Avenue location. The expansion of their UK operations occurs as IronFX has also recently reported an increase in its UK capital to £250,000 while also appointing the firm’s Global COO, Dimitrios Hatzis, as a Director for the London-based operation. The office itself is headed by Markos Kashiouris, Global Chairman & CEO of IronFX.
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IronFX has been an aggressive opener of offices throughout the world over the past two years, putting their feet into such regions as South America, China, Australia and Russia both via representative offices, as well as fully embarking on gaining financial regulation in different jurisdictions. As for the London unit, it was initially launched as a representative office but has since become an FCA licensed branch, allowing for increased marketing and operational opportunities in the UK.
Who Is the Next IPO?
As reported last month, eToro is among a short list of firms expected to be evaluating an attempt to go public or seeking alternative funding arrangements. Among chatter at last month’s iFX EXPO in Cyprus was talk of who would be the next firm to go public, with eToro’s name coming up quite often, and being cited by a number of individuals whose firms have business relationships with the social broker. In regards to other firms, although Anyoption has been connected to seeking an IPO, attendees in Cyprus were skeptical of other binary options brokers going public due to complicated ownership structures and/or the existence of non-regulated brands that were significant drivers of earnings but would prove problematic to disclose in the IPO process.
One Cyprus firm that didn’t come up in discussions, but is worth paying greater attention to is the above mentioned IronFX, as they have been working on increasing their global exposure through the opening of offices throughout the world as well as via sponsorship. In addition to expanding their London operations, IronFX became a sponsor of FC Barcelona this past March.
Speaking to IronFX Chief Compliance Officer, Demetris Kyriacou, about their growth plans, he explained to Forex Magnates that the opening of their second London office is “a sign of their global expansion”. He added that the increase in capital to the UK unit provides additional resources for expanding their ability to do business in the country, such as expanding their local presence and the possibility of gaining greater UK financial authorization. When asked about any IPO or acquisition plans, Kyriacou reminded us that they are still a young firm, but they are “evaluating all growth options”. Having one of the largest lists of local branches and representative offices, and based on actions from other brokers with their feet on the ground in many jurisdictions, possible IronFX M&A could come in the form of acquiring well performing partners or small regulated firms which could add new licenses for the firm.