Icap completes sale of voice-broking arm to Tullett Prebon

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Icap will now focus on electronic markets, post-trade services, financial technology investing, and a UK stock exchange for small and medium companies. Its name has already changed to Nex Group.

Michael Spencer, chief executive of Nex, said in a December 30 statement that the company is “ready to capitalise on the enormous opportunities that technology affords to financial markets in the 21st century”.

“In an era of rapid regulatory and technological change, NEX will empower financial markets and bring greater efficiency, transparency and scale to our clients,” Spencer said.

The operations being sold by Icap include its voice broking business, its 40% stake in the iSwap interest-rate swap electronic trading platform, and information services associated with those two business areas.

Tullett, which changed its name to TP Icap earlier this week, is betting that increased scale will make it more competitive in the interdealer market.

John Phizackerley, chief executive of TP Icap, said in a separate December 30 statement that the deal creates the world’s “leading” interdealer broker.

“It is a transformational acquisition for TP ICAP, providing a unique opportunity to accelerate our strategy and deliver for our clients, our employees and our shareholders,” Phizackerley said.

Interdealer brokers, which help to facilitate trades over the phone in wholesale financial markets, have suffered since the financial crisis. Volatility, which sparks activity, has been muted amid historically low interest rates, while investment banks have reduced their appetite for risk.

Spencer, who founded Icap in 1986, has said previously that voice broking is far from dead, with a big recovery in the wake of Donald Trump’s surprise win in the US election in November.

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