OANDA appoints former Integral executive Gavin Bambury as CEO

After years of headless leadership and short term senior executives, OANDA Corporation makes a massive step forward in appointing highly experienced senior interbank and institutional technologist Gavin Bambury as CEO of the company

Long established North American electronic trading company OANDA Corporation is not known for holding onto senior executives for very long, and today represents another example of change at the top for the firm.

This time, the firm has appointed a new CEO, in the form of a highly experienced senior FX industry professional who joins the company from renowned FX technology and trading platform integration and liquidity management company Integral Development Corporation where he was Chief Techology Officer.

Gavin Bambury, who commences his new tenure at the top effective Monday 26 August 2019, will be based in London and will also serve as a director on the OANDA Global Corporation Board.

New dawn for good leadership at OANDA: Gavin Bambury

With more than 25 years’ experience in the financial technology and trading sector, Bambury has worked in a variety of leadership roles at world-class financial institutions including Citibank and Deutsche Bank. He also spent six years as CEO of Ion Trading Technologies, a trading software company with revenues in excess of EUR250 million. He joins OANDA from Integral Development Corporation.

OANDA Corporation’s Chairman of the Board, Tim Howkins, who is another longstanding industry executive who spent many years at IG Group as CFO before retiring, coming back out of retirement to join the board of OANDA commented, “We are extremely pleased to welcome Gavin to OANDA. A seasoned professional, he combines a deep-seated knowledge of financial technology with an unparalleled understanding of the trading sector, which will be invaluable as we continue to execute the firm’s strategic vision in the years to come.”

Far superior in credentials to any of OANDA’s anodyne leaders that preceded him, Mr Bambury had been ION Trading CEO and COO, and prior to that was Citigroup’s CTO in fixed income and currency sales and trading and spent almost 15 years at the company during the time at which Citigroup was the unfaltering market share leader in interbank FX here in London. He then joined Deutsche Bank for four years before ending up at ION Trading in 2011.

It is a positive development to see the appointment of a seasoned FX industry professional to this position, and hopefully a move which will resolve the several years of headless leadership at the firm.

Outgoing CEO Vatsa Narasimha, who was only in his position for two years, resorted to using FXCM’s at the time very grave situation as a PR exercise, a practice that FinanceFeeds frowned upon greatly.

Mr Narasimha, just weeks into his position at the time, launched a PR entitled “OANDA supports CFTC’s move to protect the interests of traders, the diatribe was preceded by a message from the public relations firm stating “By now, I am sure you have seen that the CFTC has levied a huge fine against FXCM for engaging in false and misleading solicitations forcing its withdrawal from the US market.”

“OANDA’s new CEO, Vatsa Narasimha, supports the CFTC’s move to protect the interests of traders. He has some strong views on how the retail trading industry needs to shape up to become more transparent, fair and supportive of investors and traders. He believes a broker should be held accountable for making questionable statements or falsely disclosing their interests” continued the public relations officer.

Our approach to OANDA at the time was to ask why this was necessary in a nation with the world’s highest level of loyal customers and highest assets under management per customer and only two FX firms. Surely it is better PR to remain discreet and simply onboard clients who would have nowhere else to go and would appreciate OANDA’s very highly sophisticated technology.

At approximately the same time, OANDA’s APAC team led by Rajesh Yohannan headed to AxiTrader in Australia, which immediately appointed Mr Yohannan as CEO.

OANDA Corporation has always enjoyed a top quality reputation for its technology-led and detail-orientated ethos, and has always been regarded as a bastion of ethics.

Nobody mocked OANDA Corporation when it made commercial faux pas.

OANDA Corporation’s failed attempt at taking its fxUnity product to a wide audience over four years ago is a case in point.

Under K Duker, another short term CEO, the company was already a technological tour de force, yet it brought ruinous R&D costs into the boardroom when it canned the fxUnity proprietary social trading platform a very short time after launch, before then becoming embroiled in the catastrophic purchase of the Currensee social trading network which was wound down and discontinued very soon after its acquisition.

Compare that to the self-directed traders that favor proprietary platforms and are experienced in navigating the markets electronically, and OANDA’s migration of 2,200 Tradestation users onto OANDA’s fxTrade platform just over two years ago when IBFX exited the US market demonstrates that the same company could not engage traders on social platforms, but was absolutely able to benefit from the onboarding of astute, self-empowered traders who favor a high quality brokerage environment and proprietary platform.

This may appear to be a scathing perspective, however it is not. OANDA Corporation’s fabric is excellent indeed, all it needed was leadership, which has been missing from the company for almost ten years as the revolving door continues.

With Mr Bambury on board as a level-headed and well respected professional, the future looks bright indeed in terms of taking the quality components of the firm and establishing firm and sustainable leadership.

Astute and experienced Mr Bambury now on board, the firm will be able to fill voids such as those left by former R&D executive Natasha Lala who was based at OANDA’s Silicon Valley facility and had left the firm with no equally talented replacement.

He will no doubt be an absolute breath of fresh air at a time during which OANDA is about to go head to head with immaculately run IG Group’s US entity, so timing is spot on.

 

 

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