AxiTrader Chairman Goran Drapac on new CEO Rajesh Yohannan – who he’s replacing, Goran’s own new role…

Leading Australia-based retail forex broker AxiTrader quietly let it slip out that it has hired a new CEO, former OANDA Head of APAC Rajesh Yohannan (pictured at left). Yohannan will actually act as CEO of AxiTrader’s parent company AxiCorp Financial Services Pty Ltd, which incorporates both its retail and institutional trading arms that operate mainly under the AxiTrader brand.

So who is Rajesh replacing?

Is anyone in senior management leaving?

Was there competition for his services?

LeapRate had the opportunity to speak with AxiCorp founder, Chairman and (until yesterday) CEO Goran Drapac to get more insight into the changes underfoot at Australia’s largest forex broker.


LR: Hi Goran. Please let us know a little more about the decision to hire Rajesh. After all, you’ve been CEO for a long time now.

Goran Drapac, AxiTrader

Goran Drapac, AxiTrader

Goran: The decision was easy. Rajesh is a unique individual with strengths in all the key areas important to us. He did mainly retail brokerage the past three years at OANDA, but he also has extensive institutional experience with Citibank before that. He has been based many years in Singapore, a place of increasing importance to AxiTrader. And he’s a very talented manager.

Once we had learned that Rajesh had left OANDA we got in contact with him very quickly. And yes, there certainly was competition to hire him. However I believe we offered Rajesh the most compelling opportunity to lead the next phase of AxiTrader’s growth into a truly global brand in both retail and institutional FX brokerage. Not many brokerages could truly offer that kind of opportunity.

LR: So who is Rajesh replacing?

Goran: Nobody.

As you noted I’ve been CEO here from Day 1, so technically speaking Rajesh is replacing me. In fact, he will take over the day-to-day responsibilities of managing both our retail and institutional businesses. However I am in no way retiring. (In fact, after a recent five-day Tony Robbins management seminar I am totally energized to do even more. If you haven’t participated in one of his seminars I strongly suggest that you try one).

AxiTraderMy role will become more strategic in nature, allowing me to focus more on strategic alliances like the one we struck last year in the UK with Fixi, as well as on adding new products, acquisitions and on our Dubai-based Middle East operations.

LR: How about the role of Alex Mackinnon, who has been General Manager under you the past three years?

Goran: Alex has done a great job for us, and now can focus mainly on growing our AxiPrime institutional Prime of Prime offering. Alex remains a very important part of our team.

LR: What does this all mean for AxiTrader?

Goran: We have made a lot of investments lately not just in building our management team, but also our IT and infrastructure. We now have the capacity to do three to four times the volumes we currently do, and to do so we need to become more of a global player – and we plan to do just that.

We are now licensed in Australia, the UK (and EU via MiFID), and Dubai. We have an office in Moldova serving Russia and FSU countries which is growing nicely. Regions like China and Singapore are becoming increasingly important to us. So there is a lot to accomplish in the coming months, but we now have the right team in place to get the job done.

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