Best stories of the week

From Arrests and Bankruptcy to New Investments

ATC Brokers, UTrade, Leverate, Pepperstone and IronFX are among the firms that appear in last week's top articles.

During the passing week the most interesting news from the online trading industry included both success stories and unfortunate revelations. While some companies focused on growing their business with additional investments or new offerings, others had to deal with the repercussions of past mistakes.

Talmor arrested

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The international search for the missing UTrade CEO, Aviv Talmor has ended this week as he returned to Israel to face investigators and was arrested. According to documents obtained by Finance Magnates, Talmor’s lawyer told the court that he still maintains his innocence of any of the accusations against him.

Talmor is suspected of managing the funds of 600 investors without the required license. Additionally he allegedly made false claims to clients and despite making a commitment to stop its operation, continued to accept new clients and used their funds to pay off its older clients.

Leverate not for sale

Countering rumors of a Leverate ‘exit’ we exclusively revealed this week that the platform provider has rejected a buyout offer. The firm said: “we are not and have not actively or passively sought a buyer for Leverate”.

In contrast to an exit, Leverate’s official position is that they have alternative plans for the company. According to the firm, current investor Simon Kukes has proposed to increase his stake in Leverate through what would be a dilutive investment to current shareholders.

Pepperstone gets strategic investment

Another firm that revealed its links to major investors this week is Australia-based brokerage Pepperstone, which received an investment from CHAMP Private Equity ltd– a Melbourne-based investment company.

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The investment from CHAMP was described as aimed at helping Pepperstone expand internationally with more offices, to grow the company’s branding efforts, and to widen its offerings through partnerships with technology vendors in different regions to help complement its product offering.

IronFX / FXGiants

It was reported this week that IronFX is launching a new subsidiary targeting the Chinese market after its brand was tarnished in the Asian country. IronFX is launching its new brand under GVS (AU) PTY. All 1,500,000 ordinary shares of the newly named company are held by an offshore British Virgin Islands company named GVS Limited.

According to the information, about 45 per cent of the BVI registered company belongs to a set of Chinese introducing brokers, with another 45 per cent owned by IronFX Global, and 10 per cent in the hands of a third party which is providing financing resources.

O-FREEMIUM

Binary options provider O-SYSTEMS has created a new product O-FREEMIUM, based on the freemium model of providing free services with premium features unlocked to paying customers. Upon reaching a broker landing page, customers are directed to open ‘real’ accounts with a free $35 being provided to them.

With the new system, O-SYSTEMS aims to target broker customers who can use O-FREEMIUM to focus solely on marketing and funneling new customers to the platform, while onboarding, closing new accounts and ongoing retention is powered by the product’s automated features.

ATC bankruptcy

After the initial coverage of the ATC Brokers Chapter 11 story, we provided details of how litigation from an investor-customer had motivated ATC to seek bankruptcy protection. This was explained in a follow-up post after ATC provided a statement referencing the litigation that they planned to release to clients.

Further details were revealed after the client’s attorney provided court documents from that case, in which a San Diego court found ATC in violation of a number of laws related to how it handled its relationship with an investor in a managed account program held at FXCM, where ATC acted as an introducing broker.

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