X-Trade Brokers (XTB), one of the largest brokerage companies in the world, has appointed Irina Cristescu as the General Manager of the Romanian branch. Irina Cristescu has previously held the position of Deputy General Manager of the company. The move comes at an important moment for the Polish capital group, which starting this year, is expanding its product and services offer and is focusing on developing new technologies, as well as repositioning XTB brand, from a European derivatives broker, to a complete investment company.
“I accepted with enthusiasm this new challenge, which comes in the context of expansion and adoption of new directions at a local and group level as well as at the moment when major legislative changes at the industry level are being introduced. In the light of the entry into force of MIFID2 directive and new ESMA measures, we are looking forward to working closely with our clients in order to help them in the process of adaptation to the new regulations while ensuring the highest level of protection as well as safer and healthier trading environment. At the same time, we will continue developing our position in Romania by accessing new market segments, diversifying our financial instruments offer, expanding our team as well as growing our market share,” said Irina Cristescu.
In her new position, Irina Cristescu replaces Bogdan Albu, who served as the company’s General Manager for five consecutive terms, between 2014 and 2018. Starting from 2013, Bogdan restructured the organization at a local level in order to assist in the listing of the group at the Warsaw Stock Exchange as well as repositioned the XTB brand in Romania, which led to a considerable improvement in revenues for the company’s shareholders. During his term, the number of XTB retail clients increased by 400% and the Romanian branch recorded the best ROI at the group level. The team coordinated by Bogdan Albu brought Romanian to the top of the countries that recorded the fastest growth of the customers’ portfolio in the entire XTB group. In the course of his mandate, XTB became an important supporter of the initiatives of the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority that consolidated the local market by discouraging unfair market practices.
“Irina has been part of the XTB team since the establishment of Romanian branch in 2008, and we have collaborated closely in recent years. Irina fully understands the opportunities and challenges that our industry is currently facing, and I am firmly convinced that she will be able to successfully continue the efforts of the XTB team to provide quality services and products to a growing number of customers,” said Bogdan Albu.
“Irina Cristescu had an opportunity to assist in and contribute to all the transformations that our Romanian branch has underwent over the last ten years. Therefore, the decision to appoint Irina to the position of General Manager of the Romanian branch is in line with the direction in which our company is moving. Our vision is to position XTB as a fintech company that provides a wide array of opportunities for all investors who would like to take investments into their own hands. We are convinced that from her new position, Irina will successfully implement these transformations in Romania and will contribute to the expansion and consolidation of the company’s position in the Central and Eastern Europe,” stated Omar Arnaout, CEO of XTB.
One of the first objectives of Irina Cristescu will be the expansion of the XTB Romania team, the process which has been dictated by the development of the product portfolio and accession of new market segment. In the second half of 2018, XTB has put at the disposal of its clients 2,000 new financial instruments, including ETFs, international shares from companies such as Apple, Facebook, Google or Tesla as well as CFDs based on virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum or Ripple. The recruitment process has already begun, and the company is currently in the process of adding new members to its brokerage division.
Another priority for 2019 will be adaptation to the constantly changing legal landscape of the industry, which has been marked in 2018 by the entry into force of MIFID2 Directive as well as new conditions imposed by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). The legislative changes are expected to significantly improve the market practices, contributing to the creation of the premises for a more mature market.
Irina Cristescu began her career in XTB in 2008. She played an important role in setting the foundations of the Romanian branch as well as overlooked the implementation of the first processes in Romania from the position of Customer Care & Compliance Manager. She held that role between 2008 and 2013. From 2014 to 2018, Irina Cristescu served as the Deputy General Manager. The new General Manager of XTB Romania holds a master’s degree in psychology from Titu Maiorescu University and has graduated from courses at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at the University of Bucharest as well at the Faculty of Financial Management at the Finance and Banking University in Bucharest.