Exceptional Magazine : 2011 Exceptional Magazine
ICAP 25 One overriding factor has been instrumental in this growth: Spencer's ability to recognise and act on opportunities. Among these have been several mergers and acquisitions. In the early days, the business merged with Exco, then with Garban. The resulting business was renamed ICAP in 2001 and foated on the London Stock Exchange in 2006. In more recent years, it has purchased a number of businesses, including BrokerTec, EBS, Link, Hyde and Arkhe. "Some of these businesses have been more successful than others, but it is this willingness to try new things and challenge the structure of markets that has made ICAP such a successful company," Spencer says. These acquisitions haven't just been about size; some were part of a strategy to broaden the business. Recent acquisitions of TriOptima, AcadiaSoft and Traiana, for example, refect the growing importance of post-trade services. ICAP now aims to generate proft that is evenly distributed between voice broking, electronic broking and post-trade services. Moving with the times This is a dramatic strategic shift for the company, but far from the frst time that Spencer has changed direction. Te n years ago, he felt that the industry was moving to electronic broking and made a number of decisions and acquisitions that positioned ICAP in this space, allowing it to trade on a much higher price-earnings multiple than some of its peers. Now, 60% of the global interdealer spot foreign exchange market and United States Treasury cash market is traded on electronic platforms operated by ICAP. Product innovation has also been central to the business. ICAP has supported innovation in such diverse areas as catastrophe derivatives (allowing reinsurers to hedge their exposure to possible hurricanes in a specifed area), patent broking (where ICAP acts as the middleman for the sale of a portfolio of technology or engineering patents) and property derivatives. Spencer and his team are open to new ideas, many of which turn out to be very proftable and bring benefts to the industry as a whole.
2012 Exceptional Magazine