ICAP to Stay Put Even If Clients Leave London Post Brexit

  • Firm will consider moving sales staff if clients relocate
  • ICAP plans to complete sale of broking business this year

ICAP Plc Chief Executive Officer Michael Spencer said Brexit won’t alter the structure of his company, although he may move some sales staff to other European cities if clients relocate their trading operations.

“We don’t think our business, as currently constructed, is significantly if at all affected, unless of course new barriers are introduced,” Spencer said Wednesday on a conference call with reporters. “Clearly it is important to be close to your clients. It may well be if business in trading moves from London to Paris or Frankfurt, we will need more sales staff in Paris or Frankfurt.”

Michael Spencer

Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Since Britons voted to leave the European Union, City of London executives have been examining how the decision will affect their access to the EU market. Some have looked at opening offices in other EU countries to make sure their businesses keep access to the bloc while the U.K. renegotiates its relationship.

Spencer, who said he voted to remain in the EU, pointed out that his EBS currency-trading venue is domiciled in Switzerland, while the TriOptima post-trade business is based in Sweden.

“The nation has made a decision and we should all get behind that decision in my opinion and make the most of it,” Spencer said. “I’m absolutely confident that the U.K. will be able, under our new prime minister who will be arriving tomorrow morning or this evening, to prosper in the new world.”

Theresa May takes office as Britain’s new prime minister today after David Cameron formally ends his six-year tenure.

ICAP, soon to be named NEX Group Plc, saw a surge in trading on the day after the Brexit referendum, with volume on its currency venue jumping to more than $200 billion, according to a statement. However, average daily volume on the foreign-exchange platform fell 15 percent to $83 billion in the period from April 1 to June 30.

The company’s sales from post-trade risk-management services rose 6 percent on a constant currency basis. ICAP’s overall revenue increased 2 percent compared with a year earlier.

ICAP will focus on electronic markets and post-trade services once it completes the sale of its voice-broking business to Tullett Prebon Plc later this year. The 1.1 billion-pound ($1.4 billion) deal includes the sale of ICAP’s name. The transaction will give Tullett more than 3,000 voice brokers, leaving Spencer in charge of a collection of electronic businesses.