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EBS Helps Icap Revenues…But EBS Head Goes

It has been an interesting week at Icap, the company announcing record revenues, driven in no small way by a 103% increase in electronic broking revenues after the EBS acquisition, but it has also lost the man responsible for EBS and its wider electronic broking business.


John Nixon has been appointed CEO of Icap’s Electronic Broking division (IEB) after the shock departure of Jack Jefferys who has decided to “seek a career outside Icap” according to the firm. Staff at IEB expressed surprise and in some cases a little disquiet after the departure of Jefferys, although one source within the company said it was not unexpected and that the move had been planned with Michael Spencer, CEO of Icap, for some time. “Jack wanted a new challenge, he felt he had done his job at EBS,” says the source. “He did his year after the acquisition and now wants to do something else.”


The source adds that Jefferys is expected to stay in the financial markets arena. For his part, Spencer says: “I am very pleased that John Nixon has accepted this new role. Icap’s electronic broking division is a central part of our strategy to create the global OTC exchange and cement Icap’s leadership position in our industry. Accelerating the growth of our electronic broking business is a key priority for Icap this year and for the foreseeable future. I am confident that John and his deputy CEO David Rutter, together with the senior management team and all the IEB staff, will be successful in delivering this growth, as well as the incremental opportunities we envision for the business.


“This appointment follows Jack Jeffery’s decision to seek a career outside Icap. As we approach the first anniversary of the EBS purchase I would like to thank him for his commitment during the last year in successfully integrating Icap’s electronic businesses. Jack was CEO of EBS during the very important period from February 2002 and his leadership helped turn EBS into the pre-eminent spot FX platform that it is today. He will continue working until the end of June to complete the handover.”


Nixon is an inter-dealer broking market veteran with 30 years experience but more pertinently he played, “a very important role in the acquisition by Icap of both BrokerTec and EBS and has built very strong relationships at a senior level with Icap’s customers while running Icap’s information division for the last five years” the firm says. Prior to his full time involvement with Icap he was a non-executive director of the firm from 1998 to 2002. He was previously CEO of Tullett and Tokyo Forex, now part of Tullett Prebon, where he worked from 1978 to 1997 in Toronto, London and New York.


Meanwhile, electronic broking revenue at Icap rose 103% to GBP 199.1 in the year to March 31. “Last year’s acquisition of EBS has proved an outstanding success. The combination of its electronic spot foreign exchange and Icap’s fixed income electronic broking businesses has created a global multi-product platform that we believe has enormous growth potential,” says Spencer. “The integration of the ICAP and EBS businesses is making very good progress and we are on track to deliver total technology and other related savings of at least $58m per annum by the financial year ending in March 2009.


“As the more liquid, standardised products continue to migrate to our electronic platforms, our voice broking franchise in structured and complex products, energy, credit, equity derivatives and less liquid markets continues to enjoy high growth,” he continues. “We believe that our voice broking activities also have material room for expansion due to product innovation. This year’s results amply demonstrate the success of our strategy of retaining market leadership in both voice and electronic broking.”


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