Saxo Bank hires away Gain Capital's Ben Smoker as Australia CEO

LeapRate has learned that retail forex broker Saxo Bank has hired Ben Smoker away from rival Gain Capital Holdings Inc (NYSE:GCAP) to act as CEO of its ASIC regulated subsidiary in Australia, Saxo Capital Markets (Australia) Pty Ltd.

Ben Smoker has been Country Head of Gain Capital Australia for the past three-plus years. He was previously in various roles with Deutsche Bank, Citi, ABN Amro, and RBS.

Nik Kritikos, Saxo Bank

Nik Kritikos, Saxo Bank

Saxo has also hired Nik Kritikos from JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) as the new Australia local head of Saxo’s institutional business. Kritikos was previously an Executive Director of Global Cash Equities for JP Morgan working in Hong Kong, New York, and Australia. In his new role, Mr. Kritikos will work closely with Mr. Smoker to drive the growth of the Australian business, and will also support Saxo’s global institutional business, Saxo Markets.

Adam Reynolds, Saxo Capital Markets CEO for Asia Pacific, said the new appointments reflected Saxo Group’s global strategy to grow its suite of services for institutional clients, which include multi-asset execution, prime brokerage and its trading infrastructure offering for white-label clients (Open API).

Our main goal in the institutional space is to facilitate and grow existing partner relationships and to enhance our position as a leading Fintech innovator and enabler of new business in this dynamic market. Ben and Nik’s leadership and experience will no doubt resonate with clients and further strengthen the local institutional business, as well as our well established private client offer.

The needs of institutional clients are constantly evolving, and Fintech disruption is impacting the financial services industry at a rapid pace.

Saxo is well placed to support a variety of institutional market segments including both the disrupters and the disrupted in this evolving environment, including retail banks, brokers, advisers and the growing realm of local asset managers in Australia.

Saxo Bank has reworked its global roster over the past year, which saw co-founder Lars Seier Christensen step back from active management of the company to focus on his new venture capital fund, and has made a number of key outside hires around the world in the past year. Saxo Bank recently hired ex Nomura exec Jeff Zorek as COO of Global Sales. Last summer Saxo added COO Soren Kyhl from Danske Bank.

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