Exclusive: Phil Horner leaves FX broker Pepperstone

Pepperstone office

LeapRate Exclusive… LeapRate has learned that Pepperstone senior executive Phil Horner has departed the company, in what seems to have been something of an internal power struggle at the Melbourne, Australia based Retail FX broker.

Phil Horner Pepperstone

Phil Horner

Mr. Horner had spent six years working his way up the ranks at Sydney based ASIC licensed broker AxiTrader, joining rival Pepperstone in early 2015 in something of a coup for Pepperstone. After having served as Axi’s Sales & Marketing Manager, overseeing those two key functions at Axi, Phil Horner joined Pepperstone with the title ‘General Manager’ and as the heir apparent to Pepperstone founders Owen Kerr and Joe Davenport in running the company.

However Pepperstone, after raising significant outside money from CHAMP Private Equity which then became the Pepperstone’s largest shareholder, the company went in a different direction and hired IG Group Holdings plc (LON:IGG) Australia head Tamas Szabo as the new CEO (as was also exclusively reported by LeapRate), as Owen Kerr and Joe Davenport decided to hand over the day-to-day reins. (Both remain on Pepperstone’s board). Phil Horner remained in the role of CEO APAC region for Pepperstone.

However the arrangement does not seem to have lasted long, and a dispute emerged between Mr. Szabo and Mr. Horner regarding Mr. Horner’s future role with the company, and the company’s overall direction.

Phil Horner also resigned from the board of Pepperstone Limited, the company’s recently launched FCA regulated subsidiary in the UK. He had also been instrumental in getting that operation off the ground. We should also note that, in part under Mr. Horner’s direction, Pepperstone overtook its domestic rivals in the Retail FX sector the past couple of years to become the leading Australia based broker, behind just Mr. Szabo’s former employer IG and leading global CFDs broker Plus500 Ltd (LON:PLUS).

A senior Pepperstone insider provided LeapRate with the following quote on the matter:

The Board had been in discussion with Phil during December regarding changes to his role at Pepperstone after the appointment of our new Group CEO. Unfortunately we couldn’t agree on the role for Phil going forward and it was decided the best option for both parties was for Phil to leave the company. We thank Phil for his valuable contribution to Pepperstone’s growth and success during his tenure with the business and we wish him all the best for the future.

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