Former City Index COO Simon Bird becomes executive chairman of Ikon Finance

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Simon Bird, the former COO of financial spread betting broker City Index, has been named as non-executive chairman of Ikon Finance Limited, part of the multinational Ikon Group.

The announcement confirms rumours that began in the autumn that Bird was set to return to the industry with Ikon, which is due to re-launch in 2018.

Bird spent six years at City Index before the company was bought by Gain Capital Holdings. Since then, he has worked as a Partner for Objectivus Financial Consulting, a company that offers risk and governance advice to the financial services industry.

Ikon Finance left the retail trading business in 2017 when it sold its client base to Hantec Markets. That move followed significant financial losses and the imposition of severe restrictions imposed by the FCA. Back in March 2017, the UK regulatory body moved Ikon to ‘closed to new business’ status, preventing it from taking on new customers and ordering it to close all ongoing positions and refund all its clients’ money.

Those regulatory measures by the FCA were the result of a number of problems with the way that Ikon was operating, which included a lack of effective oversight and governance, an absence of proper anti-money laundering controls and an absence of up-to-date due diligence information. Almost a year on from the FCA intervention, the company remains unable to take on new clients, and its website is still ‘under construction’.

It has been reported, however, that the company, which now has a new management team, is working to regain its status with the FCA and that it is planning to re-launch its forex trading business during 2018, though it is believed that the re-launched Ikon service will focus on institutional rather than retail clients.

Commenting on the news that Bird is to join the company, an Ikon Finance spokesman said that his presence would be a major factor in the company’s return to active trading:

“We are delighted that Simon has joined the board of Ikon Finance. Given his immense experience in this industry, he will provide significant guidance to the re-launch of the business.”

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