GCEX opens Dubai office, hires ex CFH/Finalto exec Mehtap Önder
GCEX, the London based institutional-focused digital assets and FX brokerage established by former CFH Clearing co-founder Lars Holst, has announced that it is expanding into the MENA region with the opening of a new Dubai office.
The company has also hired one of Mr. Holst’s former CFH/Finalto colleagues, Mehtap Önder, as Dubai office head and Managing Director, GCEX MENA. Mehtap Önder was Regional Director of CFH Turkey (now Finalto) from 2014-2019.
GCEX’s launch in Dubai follows on from the firm being granted provisional regulatory approval by the Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority in Dubai (VARA) in April 2022 to operate as a crypto exchange. The firm is now in the process of applying for a license, in accordance with VARA requirements.
This follows hot on the heels of GCEX’s announcement in June 2022 of its regulatory approval by the FSA in Denmark as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) and a Currency Exchange. The firm is also regulated by the UK’s FCA.
GCEX enables brokers, funds and professional traders to access deep liquidity in digital assets and also offers a range of technology solutions. Its modular ‘Crypto In A Box‘ plug-and-play trading solution comprises of a technology-agnostic platform which covers regulation, custody, safety of funds, liquidity and technology (both backend and frontend).
Dubai has made great strides towards establishing itself as a hub for the Virtual Asset (VA) industry. As the first and only jurisdiction globally to set-up a specialist regulator dedicated to the Virtual Asset economy, Dubai’s VARA has been actively developing progressive parameters to enable a highly selective list of global participants establish themselves in their regime for the initial phase.
Lars Holst, Founder & CEO, GCEX commented,
“Extending our crypto offering to the MENA region is a major milestone for the business. Receiving provisional regulatory approval from VARA in Dubai adds significant credibility to our offering and puts us in a strong position to become a dominant crypto exchange for institutional and professional clients in the region.”
“I am thrilled that Mehtap is joining GCEX to spearhead our growth across MENA. Having worked with her for almost eight years at CFH (now Finalto), I know she will be a huge asset to the firm. She has strong business acumen, excellent industry knowledge and a proven track record in building strong client and team relationships. Mehtap has lived in Dubai for the last four years, has a great network of institutional clients and a deep understanding of the regulatory and client requirements in the region.”
Mehtap Önder has over 15 years’ experience in the financial services sector. She spent eight years at CFH (now Finalto), a global Prime of Prime which was co-founded by Lars Holst, taking it from a start-up to a $120M USD exit. At CFH, Mehtap was Regional Director, Turkey for five years and, prior to that, was the firm’s Head of Legal Onboarding. She joins GCEX from Waystone Compliance Solutions, a Dubai-based consultancy firm specialising in Compliance, Risk and Governance.
In her new role, Mehtap Önder will be responsible for all operational aspects of the business in the MENA region. She said,
“I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to join a thriving business. What GCEX has achieved to date in a relatively short space of time is exceptional. The business will be regulated in three jurisdictions, has secured investment from TGV4 Plus, has a rapidly growing global client base and offices in London, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.”
“From working closely with Lars at CFH (now Finalto), I have witnessed first-hand his ability to grow a global business. I am excited to be joining his team and working closely with him to scale GCEX across the MENA region. Dubai is at the forefront of the crypto market so this is an ideal location for GCEX to be based in. Our presence in the VARA ecosystem will be key to attracting institutional and professional clients, highlighting our focus on investor protection.”
Founded in 2018, GCEX is a pioneering regulated digital brokerage with a best-of-breed digital asset and FX platform and partnerships with Tier 1, trusted Liquidity Providers, lending counterparties and digital custody asset institutions. The firm’s ground-breaking innovation comes from integrating all the components, resulting in far more than the sum of its parts. GCEX offers a wide range of products and technology solutions including White Labels. The Dubai entity will not offer any FX or CFDs to its clients.