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LMAX Exchange unveils management buyout

FX Week, December 2012 - The management team of London-based foreign exchange and metals multilateral trading facility (MTF) LMAX Exchange has agreed to buy a majority stake in the venture from its parent Betfair, the online sports betting company.

The management buyout, which was announced on December 13 but is still subject to regulatory approval, will leave Betfair retaining a 33% stake in the company while the management team, led by chief executive David Mercer, will own a majority stake. The buyout coincides with a decision by Betfair’s management to streamline the group and focus on its core competencies.

“Betfair is a gambling company, and has to focus on its core business going forward. It has helped us get to where we are – its legacy of quick, robust, scalable technology is what helped create LMAX Exchange. However, our new status as an employee-owned company gives the business the required flexibility to rapidly grow and evolve,” says Mercer.

Founded in 2010, LMAX Exchange initially sought to compete with large retail brokers but refocused its strategy after Mercer was appointed chief executive in April 2011 (www.fxweek.com/2199328). Regulated as an MTF by the UK Financial Services Authority, the platform uses an exchange model to execute spot FX and prides itself on the strength of its underlying technology, its speed and its transparency.

“The LMAX Exchange business has great momentum. As a result, and as a long-standing passionate advocate of the exchange model, I am very excited to be part of the team buying the business and look forward to it going from strength to strength in the next couple of years,” says Ed Wray, co-founder of Betfair and one of the private investors backing the management buyout.

Now 16 months into a fully funded three-year business plan, LMAX Exchange has seen seven quarters of consecutive growth, the firm said in a statement yesterday. Expanding from FX spot and metals into non-deliverable forwards and swaps is also a component of its long-term strategy, Mercer adds.

“We’ve built real momentum and traction,” says Mercer. “We started at a low base but we’ve been growing at 20% a month, when everyone else has been declining. We’re trying to create a greater presence, to become one of the premier venues and the only FX venue without ‘last look’ as standard for all market participants. We’ve got the product right; we’ve got the liquidity right; and we’ve got a fantastic technology platform. So all the building blocks are there, we just need to build out our distribution. We’ll be looking to extend our geographic coverage and product segments.”

Geographically, Mercer feels the platform is gaining significant traction in Asia- Pacific and he intends to invest further in the region. North America is also a natural region for expansion, as the platform’s MTF status is likely to help it gain a licence to operate as a swap execution facility under the US Dodd-Frank Act. Within three to five years, Mercer believes LMAX Exchange will be truly competing with the incumbent platforms in the FX market.

“We have a clear strategy and roadmap to build LMAX Exchange into a leading FX venue globally in three to five years. I think clients are looking for the execution you get on-exchange, so I hope we have that point of differentiation. If you look at the rest of the volumes in the marketplace, hopefully our results show that our unique differentiator has come to the fore,” says Mercer.

View the FX Week article online or download as a PDF -

Media Contacts

For further information please contact:

LMAX Exchange (London):
Barbara Pozdorovkina T: +44 20 3192 2510 E: press@lmax.com

About LMAX Exchange

Recognised as one of the UK’s fastest growing technology firms for three consecutive years (2015, 2014 and 2013 Sunday Times, Tech Track 100), LMAX Exchange is the leading MTF for FX, authorised and regulated by the FCA. Servicing retail brokers, funds, corporates, asset managers and banks, LMAX Exchange delivers a unique vision for global FX trading - a transparent, neutral, level playing field for all market participants, regardless of status, size or activity levels.

The LMAX Exchange OPEN order book is driven by streaming, no ‘Last Look’ limit order liquidity. LMAX Exchange offers a range of key products, including spot FX, precious metals, commodities and equity indices, with complete pre and post-trade transparency and order execution where no ‘last look’ is standard. Orders are executed in strict price/time priority.

LMAX Exchange – the emerging benchmark for global FX.

Business growth awards:

2016, 2015 Winner – Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 more

Deloitte UK Technology Fast 50 is a ranking of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies in the UK, based on percentage growth of fiscal year revenues over the last four years. close

2015, 2014, 2013 Fastest Growing Tech Company in the UK – The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 more

LMAX Exchange has been recognised amongst the UK’s fastest growing technology firms for three consecutive years. Tech Track 100, compiled by Fast Track annually and published by the Sunday Times each September, lists Britain’s 100 fastest-growing private tech companies based on sales growth over the last three years. close

2016, 2015 Winner – Deloitte EMEA Technology Fast 500 more

The Deloitte EMEA Technology Fast 500 pre-eminent technology awards program is a ranking of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa's fastest-growing technology companies based on percentage revenue growth over three years. close

2015 Recognised as a Tech City Future Fifty company – Tech City UK Future Fiftymore

LMAX Exchange is part of the Future Fifty programme, focused on accelerating the success of high-growth tech businesses. close

FX industry awards:

2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Best FX Trading Venue - ECN/MTF – WSL Institutional Trading Awards more

LMAX Exchange has been awarded The Wall Street Letter Institutional Trading Awards “Best FX Trading Venue - ECN/MTF” for four consecutive years. WSL awards honour excellence among providers to the institutional trading industry. close

2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 Best Margin Sector Platform – Profit & Loss Readers' Choice Awards more

LMAX Exchange has been awarded The Profit & Loss Readers’ Choice Awards “Best Margin Sector Platform” for three consecutive years. These awards are voted on by the readers and recognise excellence within the foreign exchange industry throughout the previous year. close

2014 Best Infrastructure/Technology Initiative – WSL Institutional Trading Awards more

LMAX Exchange has been awarded The Wall Street Letter Institutional Trading Awards “Best Infrastructure/Technology Initiative” in 2014. WSL awards honour excellence among providers to the institutional trading industry. close

2013 Best Execution Venue – Forex Magnates Awards more

LMAX Exchange has been awarded the Forex Magnates Awards “Best Execution Venue”. The awards are granted to the top firms in their categories and announced at the annual London summit. close

Financial technology awards:

2016 Best Trading & Execution – HFM US Technology Awards more

The HFM US Technology awards recognise hedge fund technology providers that have demonstrated exceptional customer service and innovative product development in the past 12 months. close

2013 Best Overall Testing Project – The European Software Testing Awards more

The European Software Testing Awards (TESTA) recognise excellence and innovation in the software testing and quality assurance across a variety of industries. close

2011 Best Trading System – Financial Sector Technology Awards more

The FST Awards recognise excellence and innovation in the field of information technology within the UK and EMEA financial services sector. close

2011 Innovative Programming Framework – Oracle Duke's Choice Awards more

Oracle’s Duke's Choice Awards celebrate extreme innovation in the world of Java technology and are granted to the most innovative projects using the Java platform. close

LMAX Limited operates a multilateral trading facility (MTF). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, FCA Registered no. 509778.