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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
It is fairly easy to speculate and spread rumors about what is (or is not) happening at a retail forex broker, or for that matter at any private company. Nearly every company, especially those in industries as volatile as retail forex, go through cycles of hiring and firing, growth and stagnation, and can (and often do) face lawsuits issued by unhappy clients.
However it seems as though IronFX faces more than its fair share of such rumors and facts taken out of proportion. From blogs speculating about IronFX needing to raise funds, to it being acquired, to lawsuits, to staged protests – it seems as if someone out there is on a mission to defame IronFX.
We thought it made sense to set the record straight and go right to the source, separate fact from fiction and get an update from IronFX CEO Markos Kashiouris. Here is what he has to say.
LR: Hi Markos. There seems to be a lot of rumor mongering in certain circles as to what is going on behind the scenes at IronFX. Can you let our audience know what actually is (or is not) occurring at IronFX these days, in terms of layoffs, fundraising/IPO, and general trading volumes and results.
MK: During the first six months of 2015 the industry has been going through the biggest turmoil / changes / consolidation since the retail online trading industry started in the late 90s – leading to the demise or forced consolidation of some well-known industry players. As a result of the prevailing market conditions and to prepare for the future, the company decided to restructure its global operations which is aimed at all functions and excess capacity created as a result of its own planned IPO. This restructuring concerns about 10% of the company’s personnel and affected predominately non-front office departments and functions.
We currently have investor approaches and ongoing capital markets processes underlying the intrinsic value of the business. In this respect, we are in discussion with various parties to maximize consolidation opportunities in the market and capitalize on the void left from the weakening of large competitors..
Our focus on front-office operations and cost efficiencies is already having a material positive impact on our profitability margins.
LR: What is the status of lawsuits which have been brought against IronFX in Cyprus?
MK: Nothing serious, only one minor client-related lawsuit that is not material to the company’s business or finances. No further lawsuits have been filed and certain media outlets like to sensationalize the matter.
LR: IronFX is one of the more heavily regulated forex brokers out there, with direct licenses from each of the FCA (UK), CySEC (Cyprus), ASIC (Australia), DFSA (Dubai), FSB (South Africa), BaFIN (Germany), and others. How is your relationship with the various regulators?
MK: As good as ever given that we have undertaken all the actions required to protect integrity of our trading and our customers. We are still the most highly regulated global retail FX broker and thrive for service quality, customer satisfaction and innovative ways to capture the market opportunity.
At this point, I should reiterate that IronFX is one of only a few global brokers that enjoy a clean regulatory track record with no warnings or fines whatsoever since commencement of operations in 2010. Moreover, none of the allegations – surfacing with increased intensity since the publication in The Wall Street Journal of an article purporting the company’s intention to go public – has been proven as factual or with merit.
LR: Where do you see the company focusing strategically in the second half of 2015, and beyond?
MK: Post-restructuring the company will still be one of the largest brokers in the world with close to 500 employees, largest global salesforce, and 16 manned offices around the world. There is no change in the company strategy that our service model and focus on client service remains the same. We see increased opportunity to capture market share given the recent turmoil in the industry which has affected a number of global retail FX brokers, both publicly traded and private ones.
LR: What are the key challenges facing IronFX and other leading forex brokers these days?
MK: The company always values customer behavior dynamics which is the key to create and capture new opportunities. The key challenge for any broker out there is to read the signs early enough to be able to adjust and adapt to the changing competitive landscape.