MEXEM: Changing the rules of the financial game

In less than two years Mexem has revolutionized market trading in South Africa. Mexem has introduced Interactive Brokers (the largest electronic brokerage firm in the USA) into South Africa. This has enabled investors to access and trade on over 120 global markets, in 26 currencies and all at fees much lower than most local institutions.
From a start-up working from home, Mexem has emerged into a formidable competitor in the South African financial markets. Today, Mexem together with its sister company, RIMAR Capital, employs over 70 people globally, and currently operates across 4 countries.
The idea of Mexem was conceived by the CEO, Itai Liptz. Liptz was investigating trading fees across emerging markets and identified South Africa as a market where many investors were being charged hefty fees, especially when they invested offshore. Liptz, in partnership with Interactive Brokers set out to disrupt the market by offering as good a service, but at a fraction of the prevailing fees. Liptz noted that in many instances ‘those investors who pay the most, are those who can afford it the least.”
RIMAR Capital is a hedge fund that uses algorithms to drives its trading strategies. These algorithms have been developed and are continuously updated by a team of coders comprised of
MBA graduates, computer engineers, mathematics professors and ex-intelligence and special forces veterans. The algorithms use quantitative models and artificial intelligence to identify and execute trades. The team continuously test the algorithms for potential weaknesses, which are identified and neutralized to minimize the negative impact that they may have on the investment strategy.
Itai Liptz, the CEO of Mexem is also the CEO of RIMAR Capital. Liptz compares RIMAR’s strategy to renowned footballer, Leonardo Messi. Messi kicks the ball less often than most of his contemporaries. However, when Messi does actually kick the ball, he does so with the certainty that it will have the greatest impact. It all comes down to a philosophy of providing the utmost value to clients at the least amount of risk by making use of the latest technological advances to ensure that every time RIMAR ‘kicks the ball’, it does so with the confidence that the investment strategy will yield the best results.
Mexem and RIMAR’s successes in the market have been both rapid and above expectation. Both companies were not brought precipitously to the South African market and investors. Before Mexem and RIMAR were brought to market, they were several years in the making. Only once the platform and strategies had proven themselves in testing as well as in live use by the owners, were they offered to the public.
At the heart of both companies is the idea that clients should only have to pay for services that they actually receive. Mexem does not charge clients any monthly or management fees, and charges no fees above what Interactive Brokers charges. RIMAR Capital also charges no management fees, levying only performance fees. This means that RIMAR only gets paid when the clients make money.
As Liptz points out: “paying management fees in instances where there has been no positive growth in your investment is like walking into a coffee shop, paying for a cup of your favourite coffee and receiving an empty mug in return.”

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