Since converting from a brokerage to a bank in 2001 and building a global online trading business more extensive than those of many bigger institutions, Saxo Bank, with 26 billion Danish kroner ($4.6 billion) in assets, was on a steadily upward trajectory until 2012. Results were unsatisfactory, founders and co-CEOs Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen declared after Saxo earned just Dkr81 million last year, down from Dkr618 million in 2011. But the Hellerup, Denmarkbased banks multiproduct e-trading model is proving resilient. Net profit in the first quarter of this year was Dkr172 million and on pace to exceed 2010s record full-year profit of Dkr644 million. Fournais, 47, and Christensen, 50, who had stepped away from day-to-day management in August 2008, retook the reins in December, pared back real estate and asset management activities and refocused on the trading business. They increased currency, commodity, exchange-traded-fund and other products on the network to 30,000 from 20,000 in mid-2012. In May, 16 percent of trading volume was on mobile devices, up from 6 percent a year earlier. If you want to access global markets and spread risks, Fournais says, you need something quite unique.
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