LeapRate Exclusive… LeapRate has learned that ATFX has expanded to Cyprus, acquiring control of CySEC licensed institutional FX broker PositivaFX.
ATFX is a co-brand shared by a number of different entities globally including FCA regulated AT Global Markets (UK) Limited in the United Kingdom, ATFX Global Markets (CY) Limited in Cyprus, AT Capital Markets Limited in the United Arab Emirates and AT Global Markets Malaysia. AT Global Markets (UK) Limited is controlled by International businessman Hiu Keung (Joe) Li, who has been rapidly expanding his FX empire in the past few months since the initial setup in 2015. The UK company was set up in 2015 and received a matched-principal broker license from the FCA in July 2017.
To run the AT Global Markets (UK) Limited operation, Richard Craddock was hired as CEO. Mr. Craddock had previously been Chief Trader with MF Global, COO of institutional FX broker Fixi plc, and an executive and board member of the Naga Group and its SwipeStox retail trading arm. Kicking off the company’s new UK presence, ATFX recently engaged in a high-profile London Taxi ad campaign (see picture above).
But back to ATFX’s acquisition of PositivaFX…
PositivaFX is based in Limassol, Cyprus and was founded in 2014 by former easyMarkets and FXTM alums George Stylianou and Kaiming Liu (who has since left the company). They grew PositivaFX into a fairly successful institutional FX shop, serving mainly small to medium sized regulated and offshore brokers, before themselves deciding to get financial backing from various investors, and to branch into Retail FX.
Mid last year the company submitted documentation to CySEC to request an upgrade in its license from STP to market maker, however the intentions of the new owners were to be 100% STP and as a result the application was withdrawn. In addition, the broker also gained approval by CySEC of an updated business plan for Retail, to facilitate the move to add Retail brokerage. As part of the move to Retail the company also brought on board Dominic Poynter as Head of Marketing. Mr. Poynter joined PositivaFX after spending three years at retail forex broker easyMarkets as its Director of Marketing Operations, including overseeing that company’s rebranding from easyForex to easyMarkets.
After receiving CySEC approval for the addition of Retail brokerage as well as the takeover by the new Hong Kong based investors, PositivaFX changed its operating name to the ATFX brand, and its formal corporate moniker from Positiva Markets (CY) Ltd to ATFX Global Markets (CY) Limited. (A visit to the company’s former positivafx.eu url now redirects to atfxgm.eu).
Another interesting note is that we understand that each of aforementioned units – UK, Cyprus, Middle East and Malaysia – are not directly owned by one umbrella company but have different shareholding structures and are separately owned, some by Mr. Li and some by certain other Hong Kong based investors, with the shared use of the ATFX brand separately licensed to each company. There is, however, a plan to consolidate the companies under a more organized corporate umbrella in the coming months.