RJ O’Brien (UK), run by chief executive David Mudie, has been busy in 2015 on various fronts: acquiring the clearing arm of London institution Kyte; growing the business organically by tapping specialist brokers; and opening up in new markets by taking exchange memberships.
Mudie says: “2015 was a year of strategic development for RJO in London. RJO has a strong business in many regions so the build-out in London and across Europe is of key value to the firm.”
The chief executive closed the Kyte deal in March and spent much of the rest of the year integrating the 50-strong Kyte team into RJO’s London operation.
Mudie said: “The acquisition of Kyte’s clearing arm was important because it gave us the ability to create the platform for further growth in Europe.”
The Kyte clearing business is also a strategic fit for RJO as it adds to its clearing expertise and enables the group to better service its US clients.
He says: “The Kyte acquisition brought state-of-the-art infrastructure and talented people across all aspects of clearing and client services. This means that we can continue to enhance our client service in London and internationally across RJO.”
RJO (UK) has also cherry-picked this year a handful of expert brokers, including specialists in grains and foreign exchange options, an approach that Mudie said he will continue next year.
“We have hired some specialist brokers, and we continue to talk to lots of different people. We have taken the approach that we want to get the right people with the right skills. We’re much more qualitative than quantitative in our hiring practices,” Mudie says.
The broker opened up a new front in July when it backed Europe’s new interest rate futures exchange GMEX, which went live in August, and secured membership of the London Metal Exchange, paving the way for RJO to start trading metals on that market in August.
“We realised our ambitions in the metals market with our LME Category 2 membership -- in line with our plan to round out our product offering by joining additional exchanges.”
RJ O’Brien and Mudie have shown ambition and a skill for execution in 2015 but this year was only part of a bigger project, according to the CEO.
“The plan for 2016 is to continue on our growth path, with more strategic hires and further efforts to round out our product coverage by joining more exchanges.”
Mudie adds: “2015 was about establishing the groundwork and platform. Now we are able to build upon these and leverage the infrastructure and talent we have today to innovate, service existing clients, win new business, attract more talent and maximise our potential.”
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