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2013 in Review: FXCM

We now turn to the review of the annual fortunes of FXCM, the US Forex major, which has really stepped up its efforts in almost all business respects in 2013: there has been a spurt of acquisitions, new products, bonuses, and even some new business entities. Moreover, the FX broker has managed to show some quite robust performance results in the face of subdued market volatility and to increase the amount of retail Forex assets under its custody despite rigid regulatory demands. We all know that the regulatory climate for Forex in the United States this year went sour,  especially with the new capital requirements – still, FXCM not only thrived amid the regulations but also managed to benefit from them.


FXCM started the year with a nice gesture to its clients, and especially to fans of social Forex trading, as in January the broker made Mirror Trader – the social trading platform, available to all of its clients regardless of the type of accounts they hold. The social Forex offering grew further in February, with FXCM adding Tradeo via a designated cloud bridge. 


And while we are talking about new services, we should note that the Italian subsidiary of FXCM launched a corporate hedging service in November to the convenience of companies that have international operations. 


This said, let's stress that FXCM has been very active in global plan over 2013 – it introduced an educational platform in China and organized conferences in Germany and France. Was this enough for the broker? Absolutely, not! FXCM is targeting an international clientele and for that purpose the broker surprised us in April by establishing FXCM Markets – an unregulated subsidiary in Bermuda, which accepts all sorts of clients. Now, that's what we call wide-scale thinking!


The ambitions of FXCM were underlined by its mergers & acquisitions push, which commenced in April with a $210.4 million bid targeting (wow!) US rival GAIN Capital. Well, GAIN turned down the offer and FXCM laid down for a while, but just for a while. In the third quarter, while everyone in the retail FX sector was complaining about weak volatility, FXCM revived the M&A push by acquiring a 50.1% stake in Faros Trading, an expert in Forex intelligence and execution expert from Connecticut, the US. Then, all of the speculation around a deal with Infinium Capital, a Chicago-based company specialized in providing trading services for institutional clients, ended as FXCM purchased a $12 million note issued by Infinium Capital. 


The acquisitions drive is definitely not completed, with FXCM's management promising a really big hit in this respect by June 2014: the target will be from the retail FX sector. 


And as we talk of retail business and its fortunes, let's mention that FXCM managed to snatch the MT4 accounts of clients of Alpari US, which exited the US retail Forex market in the end of September.


It seems that FXCM seeks to have all angles covered – especially in terms of financing the future deals the company is rather prudent. In November, the broker announced extension of its revolving credit facility – after the changes, it falls due in December 2016 and the size has grown to $205 million. The company is obviously thinking about funding future deals. 


All of the efforts of the broker are paying off, or at least this is what the Investment Trends' reports show: according to them, FXCM is the Forex broker with the highest rate of client satisfaction in the United States, Australia and the UK for 2013. The same surveys also show that the broker is increasing its market share globally.

Apparently, FXCM has plenty to celebrate at the end of this year. Meanwhile, we cannot wait to see the exciting news the broker will deliver in 2014.

TAGS: fxcm  forex capital markets  fxcm forex broker  us forex broker  fxcm 2013  fxcm 2013 review  fxcm acquisition  fxcm markets  2013 in review  infinium capital  faros trading  revolving credit facility 

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