Freedom Holding Corp., the Nasdaq-listed diversified financial services firm from Kazakhstan has appointed Edward Maguire as the Director of Research of its Freedom Capital Markets (FCM), an investment banking and equity capital markets subsidiary of the holding. This new appointment signals further global expansion plans and growth.

Maguire, who holds an M.B.A. from Rutgers Business School, brings over 30 years of expertise in equity research, banking, and finance, gained through his tenure at SMBC Nikko Securities America, Merrill Lynch, and CIBC World Markets. He founded Bluemont Partners Advisory and was an Insights Partner at Momenta Partners, a venture capital and advisory firm.

FCM provides corporate and institutional clients with investment banking, finance, and capital markets advisory services. Maguire will help to expand and enhance the U.S. equities footprint and client offering across research, sales, and trading, according to a statement from Freedom Holding Corp. He also brings experience in finance and technology, including a role as a Managing Director at CLSA Americas, where he covered the software industry, technology, and innovation.

The appointment of the new Director of Research is expected to enhance FCM’s growth in the US market, including advisory work on IPOs and follow-on offerings, shelf offerings, rights offerings, PIPEs, SPACs, private placements, and convertible bonds issues.

Meanwhile, Freedom Holding Corp. is also expanding innovative banking solutions for its banking division, starting with its headquarters – Kazakhstan. The new developments may spark interest in investment from those not directly involved in the finance business; as well as new banking applications, including the “Freedom Banker” app designed for international clients as well as the local ones. 

Investment decisions like whether to spend or invest, or to save and invest, are often not easy to make. Influenced by the desire to shop, travel, or save for a first house, many people postpone investment opportunities indefinitely. The exciting world of stock markets and associated financial instruments exists in some other realm for them. Freedom Holding Corp. is promising to change this. By offering anyone paying with a Freedom Bank card a slice of the company’s profits, they hope to ignite people’s interest in stock markets and begin a journey to greater financial freedom.

“Whenever a client pays with their Freedom card, they receive a cashback percentage that can be converted into a new Freedom currency, which in turn is convertible into shares of Freedom Holding Corp. (FRHC), effectively making the client a shareholder. This is made possible by providing the cashback in the form of a special instrument – an exchange-traded note (ETN) on every Freedom Bank payment card transaction,” the primary investor and founder of Freedom Holding Corp., Timur Turlov, explains.

The value of the new Freedom currency is 1/10,000 of the price of one share of the company’s stock. At the time of this writing, when making payments or purchases, for example, of 300,000 Kazakhstan tenge (KZT) per month, cashback in the form of the new currency would be about 4500 Freedom currency units or KZT 15,000, amounting to almost half of a share. Currently, FRHC is trading at $75 USD per share, up from $9 USD five years ago. Investors that purchased shares back then would have made a 735% profit.

“By launching the Freedom currency, we want our customers to not just receive cashback, but also to capitalize on the growth of the company’s share price, which has increased by over a hundred percent. Every time a customer spends money within our ecosystem, we will give them back a portion of our revenue with the new Freedom currency units,” Turlov says.

The clients who would rather spend the new currency can use it for things like shopping and paying for public utilities and government services; but they also have the flexibility to top up their share count, convert them into other currencies, or transfer them within Freedom Bank or to other banks.

“This is a completely groundbreaking product for Freedom and our clients. A combination of modern digital solutions and capabilities that in the long run we expect will provide a qualitative growth in revenue for our customers and our business. It also carries a financial literacy value when a person receives not just a bonus, but a part of the company,” Turlov notes. The initiative opens up new horizons for the Company’s clients, he believes.

The Freedom currency was issued according to Astana Financial Service Authority rules, and  Kazakhstan residents can trade it without paying capital gains tax. The innovative product requires innovative banking applications and existing customers can activate the new Freedom currency feature in the Freedom SuperApp that was recently launched. A gateway to the greater Freedom Holding Corp. ecosystem, it is intended only for residents of Kazakhstan, but soon may be available to all.

The Freedom SuperApp covers all financial day-to-day life, from 20 types of state-provided services to buying airline tickets and making payments and transfers.

“This application has quickly climbed to the top of the Apple and Google app shops. Among a myriad of banking services, SuperApp provides great value for currency trading, with rates close to the ones of the Kazakhstan exchange,” Turlov says.

Meanwhile another new application, “Freedom Banker” was designed more with international clients in mind. It is especially good for any international transactions, even though it does not offer some services needed for life inside Kazakhstan.

“It is the coolest app. Wherever you are travelling anywhere in the world, our 8-currencies cards will be useful for you. We expect that the Freedom currency will also be coming soon to this app,” Turlov confirms.