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FXCM changes company name; appoints interim CEO

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Embattled U.S. currency broker FXCM Inc said on Tuesday it has changed its company name to Global Brokerage Inc, two weeks after it had been ordered by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission to cease operations in the United States for fraud.

In a statement, FXCM said it will also change its ticker symbol to GLBR. The change in the company name and ticker is effective Feb. 27.

The company also announced the promotion of Brendan Callan to interim chief executive officer, replacing Drew Niv, who resigned from the firm. Niv also resigned as director of FXCM Group.

FXCM was banned earlier this month by the CFTC from doing business in the United States for betting against its customers in trades. The commission also ordered Forex Capital Markets, its parent FXCM Holdings LLC and founding partners Drew Niv and William Ahdout to pay $7 million to settle charges it had defrauded retail foreign exchange customers.

Niv and Ahdout were also banned from acting a principal, agent, officer, or employee of any person or firm that is required to be registered, or exempted from registration with the CFTC.

Ahdout has also resigned as director of the FXCM Group board.

Callan, who joined in 2001, has been the CEO and president of the European operations since 2010, a period during which Forex Capital Markets Limited or FXCM UK became the group's largest operating subsidiary.

FXCM also announced Jimmy Halac has been appointed chairman of FXCM Group. Hallac is managing director of Leucadia National Corp, which rescued FXCM with a roughly $200 million loan after the Swiss National Bank unpegged the Swiss franc from the euro in January 2015.

Leucadia holds a significant interest in FXCM Group.

"Brendan and Jimmy share our deep commitment to always putting clients first, maintaining and building a culture of transparency, communication and support among employees, and responding to the needs and goals of all relevant constituencies, including FXCM's customers, employees, regulators, business partners and equity owners," said Rich Handler and Brian Friedman, Leucadia's CEO and president, respectively.

Sources also told Reuters that FXCM employees say staff in London have been told to seek new employment and that the company plans to move out of its current location in the heart of the City of London.

In midday trading, FXCM was down 1.7 percent at $2.85. Since the CFTC's decision on Feb. 6, the stock has lost nearly 58 percent of its value.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Additional reporting by Patrick Graham in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy)