LeapRate Exclusive… LeapRate has learned that longtime Retail FX executive Joe Rundle has left his position as Director of Trading and Partnerships at ThinkMarkets, and joined Markets.com as its new CEO.
Markets.com is the Retail FX brand name of CySEC licensed Safecap Investments Ltd., owned ultimately by Playtech PLC (LON:PTEC).
Joe Rundle has been in the Retail FX and CFDs business for 14 years. He began his career at ETX Capital in 2004, working his way up the ranks to become Head of Trading and Partnerships, spending a lot of time along the way helping ETX grow its business abroad, mainly in China. After Arman Tahmassebi was brought in by ETX to be COO in early 2016, effectively blocking his path to the CEO’s office, Mr. Rundle left ETX to join ThinkMarkets in September 2016 (after a brief stopover at GKFX), as was also exclusively reported at the time by LeapRate.
The move is an interesting one for a number of reasons. First, Mr. Rundle has been throughout his career at London-based, FCA regulated brokerages, while Markets.com / Safecap is a Cyprus based, CySEC licensed broker. While we understand that Mr. Rundle will continue to be based in London, he will likely be a frequent commuter on the London-Larnaca route.
The move also seems to be indicating that Playtech will be putting more resources into building its Retail financial arm, which has seemed of late to have become second fiddle to its Institutional financial offering. Playtech consolidated its Institutional financial business into FCA regulated TradeTech Alpha Limited, following Playtech’s acquisitions of FX technology and liquidity provider CFH Group in late 2016, and market-maker / white label provider Alpha Capital Markets, completed late last year.
In its latest financial report, Playtech revealed that its financial arm was facing declining Revenues (despite the acquisitions), brought on in part by a $7.6 million hit taken by Markets.com in Q4 from client cryptocurrency trading. With trading being Mr. Rundle’s forte and strong-suit, it looks like he will be charged with fortifying the company’s capabilities in that regard.
Parent company Playtech has also been undergoing some changes of late. As we exclusively reported at the beginning of the month, for the first time since its founding Teddy Sagi is no longer the largest shareholder in the company. That honour now goes to US investment management giant T. Rowe Price Group Inc (NASDAQ:TROW). T. Rowe Price has built up a 10.2% position in Playtech.