GFT receives incentives for relocation expansion

March 17, 2009
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The Michigan Economic Growth Authority board, in collaboration with Grand Rapids Township and The Right Place Inc., is expected to approve a High-Technology MEGA Tax Credit for online foreign currency and futures trader Global Forex Trading, a division of Global Futures & Forex Ltd. of Ada Township.

The tax credit, which is valued at more than $1.3 million over seven years, will support the company’s expansion project in Grand Rapids Township. GFT plans to move its headquarters from 4760 East Fulton Ave. in Ada to an existing building site at 618 Kenmoor Ave. SE in Grand Rapids Township, once the headquarters of former Mazda Great Lakes. The company will invest $13.8 million and create up to 105 new jobs over the next five years through the relocation and expansion. Additionally, Grand Rapids Township approved a property tax abatement of $12.3 million in equipment and $3.9 million in renovations to the building on March 3.

“We’re very pleased to announce this expansion project,” said Gary Tilkin, GFT president and CEO. “We feel that West Michigan is the best place for our business. The region offers a high-tech, diverse workforce; the type of ‘creative class’ talent GFT needs to succeed.”

Tilkin founded GFT in 1997 to address the increasing number of foreign currency trading demands his clients had in the futures and spot forex markets. GFT’s trading platform is powered using many of the same tools once only available to interbank professionals, many of which GFT offers for free to its customers. The platform delivers real-time currency prices, real-time price charting, technical indicators and up-to-the-minute world and financial news, according to the company.

In 2003 GFT introduced a second generation of its software DealBook FX 2 and later introduced DealBook Mobile, a full-featured forex trading application for mobile devices. In 2007 GFT introduced DealBook WEB, a Web-based platform for streamlined trading. Today the company serves customers in more than 120 countries and employs 312 people worldwide. The 105 new hires over the next five years will add to GFT’s current Grand Rapids employee pool of 146 people.

According to its own calculations, The Right Place, with the help of its local and state partners, has generated more than $36.4 million in capital investment and has assisted in the retention and creation of more than 475 jobs in West Michigan already this year.

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