Former GKFX Financial Services chief launches compliance consultancy

16 August 2018 3 min. read

Rod Martenstyn has exited brokerage firm GKFX Financial Services to launch a new consultancy. OSS Consult will focus on compliance advisory services, something which Martenstyn has stated is essential for firms in his former sector, as regulators mull a cull of the European market.

A subsidiary of GK Group, GKFX Financial Services is a provider of contract for difference trading and foreign exchange to a global client base. The firm’s purported mission is to give traders unparalleled execution and access to the world’s global markets via FIX API, desktop and mobile trading platforms. The exit of its CEO comes as the latest of a succession of professionals leaving GKFX. Recently, its Global Head of Business Development, Mitesh Vaghela, left to become the Director of Product at Equiti Group, while Non-executive Chairman Nick Beecroft also vacated his role in the summer.

For the past year, Rod Martenstyn had held multiple top positions with the firm. Joining in July 2017 as Chief Financial Officer, Martenstyn moved quickly to become Compliance Director, before taking the role of CEO within his first 10 months at the company. Taking on this last role when the previous CEO, Brian Myers, resigned, Martenstyn inherited a strong hand at the firm, as GKFX shareholders, led by controlling shareholder Kasim Garipoglu, had put more than $20 million of additional capital into the company over the past year to fund expansion, which had seen the company grow revenues 32% to £69 million by the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

Former GKFX Financial Services chief launches compliance consultancy

Martenstyn quickly decided the time was right for a change, however, opting to vacate the top role himself in July 2018. Commenting on the reasons for his departure, Martenstyn said, “I wish them [GKFX] the best of luck for the future. My decision to leave was due to seeing poor compliance decisions being made amongst GKFX’s peers, and in a time where the regulators are looking at potentially culling the market across Europe, I’d like to be providing investment firms with my knowledge of what is expected from the regulators.”

To that end, Martenstyn has launched a new consulting firm, named OSS Consult, to offer a variety of ancillary services to the foreign exchange industry. These include regulation and compliance, accounting, marketing strategies, tax advice, software development, HR, IT infrastructure, pension compliance, accounting and financial modelling/analysis.

Prior to working at GKFX, Martenstyn was CFO and head of compliance for FINSA Europe, spending three years with the firm, which is a spread betting and CFD trading operator. Other roles included treasury and regulator manager at the Charity Bank, financial business analyst at Tullett Prebon, and compliance officer at OCM Capital Markets. Beyond that, Martenstyn – who is a qualified accountant and has a BA in applied economics from the University of Hertfordshire – has worked in the financial industry since 1995, when he joined British Airways Pensions as a trainee.

Related: The top UK consulting firms for finance, risk & compliance.