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Atriax demise leaves big three looking foolish

Forex trading platform Atriax was backed by some of the biggest-hitting banks. Its failure marks it out as yet another example of how bad technology and poor management can ruin a good idea.


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A COUPLE OF months ago, few market participants would have predicted that a company founded by Reuters and three of the world's biggest financial institutions - Citigroup, Chase Manhattan and Deutsche Bank - would collapse. But in the space of one afternoon, their joint foreign exchange portal, Atriax, went from being a credible rival for market share in online foreign exchange to yet another failed dot com. Staff were notified at 2pm, the customer and bank advisory boards at 2.30pm, and the press at 5pm. The official head count fell from 105 to fewer than 10.

Almost until the very end Atriax was still considered a force to be reckoned with in online forex. But this positive image belied the fact that the company's future had been in question for months.

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