Exclusive: Axi control sold via management buyout
FNG Exclusive… FNG has learned that ownership of Australia based Retail FX and CFDs broker Axi has changed hands, via a management buyout.
Axi management, led by CEO Rajesh Yohannan, has acquired full control of Axi from Australia based investment firm RGT Capital. RGT Capital is a multi-family office investment firm run by its Chief Investment Officer, Adam Wilson.
Mr. Wilson and RGT acquired control of Axi in 2016 from Axi (then known as AxiTrader) founder Goran Drapac, backing a new management team which had just been brought in to run the company.
The new Axi management team was led by then-new CEO Rajesh Yohannan, who joined Axi after serving as CEO of OANDA Asia Pacific, and Chief Commercial Officer Louis Cooper, who worked closely with Mr. Yohannan at OANDA. Mr. Cooper was also previously Managing Director – Australia and New Zealand for UK based broker CMC Markets.
The investment was not a strategic investment for RGT, whose other investments have been made across a wide variety of industries including manufactured housing (Tasman Lifestyle), mobile apps (Tigerspike), craft beer (Young Henrys), and accident loan cars (Right2Drive).
We understand that RGT looked at several exit possibilities for its Axi investment over the past few years, including an IPO, but ultimately was unable to pull the trigger on a deal, leading to intensive negotiations with Mr. Yohannan and his management team. Full change of ownership from RGT Capital to Rajesh Yohannan and his team was effected in October, including the receipt of approval for change of control by key regulators.
FNG contacted Axi CEO Rajesh Yohannan, who confirmed the change-of-control and attributed this to a recent completion of the MBO (management buy-out) by the senior management team at Axi.
The majority of the senior management team have been significantly involved in the rapid growth of Axi since an initial management buy-in occurred in 2016, supported by Private Equity (as described above), taking the company from an Australian centric broker into a leading global provider of CFDs and Margin FX, regularly featuring in the top 12 brokers globally in the vertical by client trading volume.
Rajesh Yohannan stated to FNG:
“Myself and the senior management team represent over 120 years of experience in the CFD and Margin FX retail space, and we believe we are best placed to take the company forward, and truly deliver an Edge to our valued clients and partners across the 100 plus countries we operate in. We are well capitalised as a company and regulated by top tier regulators across the globe – notably by the FCA in the UK, ASIC in Australia and the DFSA in the UAE – so we are well placed for responsible growth.”
Yohannan and his senior team added that they now look to the future under the new company structure, specifically how they plan to increase the growth trajectory of Axi by focusing on how they provide an edge to their clients and partners to increase market share in all current markets they operate, as well as continuing their aggressive market expansion plans.
“Our entire strategy is focused on giving our clients and partners an Edge. We have recently done a soft launch of our own proprietary trading platform, in addition to our MT4 and MT5 platforms, which we believe will disrupt the current retail trading and investing marketplace by providing retail traders and investors unprecedented access to information, capabilities and services which will truly give them an Edge in their trading,” stated Yohannan. “We’ve also heavily invested in our partnership offering, providing our valued partners and affiliates with market leading technology, analytics, pricing and services to truly support their growth,” he added.