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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
LeapRate Exclusive… LeapRate has learned that top-level management changes have taken place at FCA regulated Retail FX broker GMO-Z.com Trade UK Limited, the UK operating arm of Japanese financial group GMO Financial Holdings Inc (TYO:7177), the world’s largest Retail Forex operation.
We should note that the changes are part of an overall management shuffle within GMO, and also partly in response to changing priorities at Z.com Trade UK.
Moving into the CEO role at Z.com Trade UK is Masahiro Funada. Mr. Funada has moved to London from Hong Kong, where he ran the company’s China and HK-focused business. He was previously with GMO at head office in Japan for nine years, including stints as General Manager of the publicly traded financial arm GMO Financial Holdings Inc, and of the FX brokerage GMO Click Securities.
Much of Mr. Funada’s expertise lies in institutional FX brokerage, liquidity and risk management, and in conversations with insiders at the company we have learned that Z.com Trade UK is also headed in that direction. With the Retail side of the FX business in the UK becoming ultra competitive, as well as impending regulatory restrictions looming in the UK and EU, we understand that Mr. Funada is preparing Z.com Trade to make a big push into the B2B corporate space, providing liquidity solutions for FX brokers in partnership with the Japan parent company.
Leaving the UK CEO role is Tomitaka Ishimura, although by no means is Mr. Ishimura leaving the group. He was reassigned to head GMO Coin in Japan, the company’s rapidly growing crypto CFD brokerage business.
GMO does has big plans for its UK arm, having invested a total of £11 million of capital so far in the business, including £2 million invested by GMO Financial Holdings into Z.com Trade earlier this year, as was also exclusively reported by LeapRate. The company tripled its Revenue base in the UK in 2017, and has continued to grow volumes each month so far into 2018.