Regulation and Safety - Providing "peace of mind" to clients

Dual Licenses – Global/International (VFSC) and Australia (ASIC)

Mt.Cook Financial is a rapidly growing multi-entity, and multi-licensed financial services and technology provider. Mt.Cook has been purposely structured to hold various licenses and designations to help better serve a diverse and growing international client base.

Mt.Cook Financial operates two licensed divisions for clients to trade through. 1.) This site (the original Atlantic Pearl entity in operation since 2013) is the Global/International division, licensed with the VFSC. The Global Division focuses on supporting professional traders, money managers, special/custom trading ventures, and various liquidity structuring and credit venue projects. 2.) Mt.Cook Australia is our newest division, which offers much of the same services and coverage as the Global license, but also built specifically to service a larger, and growing global retail client base, Australian nationals, and those who wish to trade under the ASIC regulatory regime.

 

VFSC License

Mt.Cook (dba parent company Atlantic Pearl Ltd) holds a Principal’s License for Dealing in Securities & Derivatives (VFSC Company #: 30220). This license is granted by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Vanuatu, under supervision of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission. Mt.Cook’s original Core ECN, and Core DMA liquidity streams are offered via the VFSC License.

 

ASIC License

Mt.Cook Australia means “MT COOK AUSTRALIA PTY. LTD” which is a company registered in Australia as of April 18th, 2017 (under ACN 617 836 558). Mt.Cook Australia is the Australian Division of the Mt.Cook Global (Atlantic Pearl Ltd.) group of companies, and is licensed via the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). The Mt.Cook ASIC licensed division operates our retail trading facilities, and provides access to our OZ ECN. Clients interested in trading via the ASIC Division please visit the ASIC site here.

 

Common License and Regulation FAQs

WHY DO YOU HAVE MULTIPLE LICENSES?
Mt.Cook operates under two different license regimes, 1) an International/Global offshore license (via the VFSC – this site), and 2) an onshore license (via ASIC in Australia). Mt.Cook has been purposely structured to hold multiple license and designations to help better serve a diverse and growing international client base. The two different licenses offer different products, benefits, degrees of customization and flexibility and help catering to a wider audience of both professional experienced retail traders.
HOW DO THE GLOBAL AND AUSTRALIAN DIVISIONS DIFFER?
Both divisions are excellent options for traders to trade on. However there are slight, minor differences. Generally speaking – the original VFSC/Global division has been designed to offer regulatory flexibility and custom trading options, in an environment which presents and fosters ease of doing business. It is also slightly cheaper to trade and offers two unique “OTC” feeds to choose on (both DMA nad ECN), and thus often has appeal to special interest projects. The ASIC division in return, while a little more rigid in design, is very familiar to clients in Australia, and often preferred by Australian residents and experienced retail traders, or those looking for a heavier regulated trading experience.
ARE MY FUNDS SAFE UNDER BOTH LICENSES?
Please note (and rest assured) that under both licenses, client funds remain protected at all times, segregated from operating capital, and both licenses utilize large Australian custodian banks, and UK based Prime Banks and/or PoPs providing very similar structures, and levels of protection to clients. Our risk management, low leverage issuance, and STP only model, helps to ensure that we effectively mitigate against market threats and counter-party risk, by keeping our overall risk as a company very low, and placing safety and stability at the forefront of our entire business model.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MT.COOK WHERE TO GO BANKRUPT?
This is often an uneasy and awkward question for savvy clients to ask, but one that deserves full attention and transparency and should be an open and serious discussion.

As it stands, if Mt.Cook were to go insolvent, this would only affect the company’s operating capital, and not client funds (as client funds remain segregated from company capital). In the event Mt.Cook (or our clearing/prime counter-party institutions) went in to bankruptcy the company would go in to special administration and would have an authorized insolvency practitioner appointed to administer and return all assets back to their clients. There may be fees associated with this, and time delays for the administration.

What are the odds of this happening?

Although we feel that this situation would be extremely rare (given our safeguards and overall risk-adverse business model) it would be unprofessional for us to deny that this is of course possible, just as it is with any corporation.

For clarification purposes however (and to justify why we feel this would be a rare occurrence), Mt.Cook assumes very, very, little risk as a brokerage and financial service provider; especially when contrasted vs most retail clearing shops.

For starters, Mt.Cook passes trades directly through to the market in an “agency only model”, and does not run a risk book (b-book) in any form. We do not assume ANY hedging risk and serve as an “intermediary” clearing agent only.

We also offer multiple license/regulatory regimes, and different clearing products and liquidity streams to provide “options” to our clients (and not force a single path upon them).

Furthermore, Mt.Cook is not over-leveraged and issues VERY low leverage across all of our currency coverage accounts (our exposure is very, very low vs competitor FCMs).

Mt.Cook also designs, deploys, and utilizes smart risk management tools, protocols, and software (some of which we have custom designed), and which are also available with our Prime Partners to keep us safe.

So while there may always be unavoidable market risks which may remain out of our control, we have designed our entire brokerage model to defend against these, so that we and our clients remain as safe and protected as possible.

This combined with a strong brand recognition, a strong industry reputation for backing our clients, a team with decades of industry experience, and strong/reliable counter-party partners, prime partners, and technology providers, all helps to keep us in a position of prominence within the industry and ensure that we all have a healthy future ahead.

 

Which Products Fall under Which License?

Mt.Cook provides one of the single most comprehensive and flexible trading venues to traders of all levels under one roof. We believe in transparency, and below is a general table showing the different feeds and features which fall under our different license regimes.

 

Client Fund Handling

Mt.Cook maintains stringent compliance policies in all aspects of its business to ensure that we remain up-to-date on all regulatory obligations.  As such, client funds are strictly held in segregated client trust accounts, independent from the company’s working and operating capital at all times.

 

Counter-parties

Mt.Cook only works with reputable vendors, custodian banks, prime brokers, stakeholders and technology providers. We are very discerning when it comes to our industry partners in order to fulfill our mandate of providing clients with a safe, stable, proficient and robust brokerage. Mt.Cook sources our own independent liquidity.

 

Anti-Money Laundering

Mt.Cook is fully compliant with, and strictly adheres to guidelines set by International Anti-money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Acts and Policies.  A carefully designed AML/KYC Progamme and Risk assessment have been designed and put in place to screen for politically exposed persons (PEPs) and to keep Mt.Cook and our clients protected from engaging with criminals and money launderers. Mt.Cook screens our applicants against various watch lists and databases prior to being accepted as clients.  An overview of our compliance program can be found here.

 

Privacy

Your privacy is assured by Mt.Cook which applies to our existing clients as well as inquiries made by prospective clients. We are advocates of privacy, so would not compromise the privacy of any party when we in fact wish to teach privacy and protect privacy and this is held as a high priority.

We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards that comply with applicable laws to protect our client’s non-public personal information and under no circumstances do we disclose any client data to third parties unless forced to do so by court order or unless otherwise required by law to a regulatory, law enforcement, or other authoritative body having the power to do so. An overview of our Privacy Policy can be found here.