Ex-ICAP Director Asher Starts Commodities Broker for Base Metals

Francis Asher, former director of base and precious metals at ICAP Plc (IAP), founded a commodities brokerage for futures and options on the London Metal Exchange.

JVA Brokers Ltd. will act as an “appointed representative” of Marex Spectron Group, a Category 1 member of the LME, that will clear metals contracts, Asher said in a telephone interview today. JVA, based in London, will serve hedge funds, institutional asset managers, investment banks, corporations and commodity trading houses, he said. The company wants to expand coverage outside industrial metals to oil and precious metals, Asher said.

“My intention is to be a boutique option brokerage,” Asher said. “There is room for us. A high headcount is not something which appeals to me. The big inter-dealer brokerages are facing big overheads in an environment where volumes have been decreasing. I am very mindful of that.”

Asher spent six years at Manro Haydan Trading Ltd., a London-based trading company, before working at ICAP between 2009 and 2013. ICAP is a Category 2 member of the LME. Marex Spectron confirmed the link.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nandini Sukumar in London at nsukumar@bloomberg.net; Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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