Institutional foreign exchange network FX Alliances client base surged this year from around 800 to more than 1,000. Most of the increase resulted from its January 4 agreement to buy LavaFX, which had been part of Citigroups Lava Trading business, for an undisclosed sum. The acquirer, known as FXall, was looking to grow in the high-frequency-trading market, where LavaFXs anonymous multibank platform was strong.
Philip Weisberg, 42, FXalls CEO since its 2001 inception, says the deal netted a couple dozen very talented employees, including Lava FX chief executive Thomas San Pietro, now FXalls head of active trading. Both the LavaFX acquisition and general market volatility have been boons: FXalls volume of $6.9 trillion over the first five months of 2010 was up 57 percent year over year, and February 24 was its first $100 billion day.
Having staffed up to serve the Japanese market, FXall has added to its network this year Nikkei Groups Quick FX multibank platform, SBI Groups SBI Liquidity Market and broker-dealer FX Prime Corp. In January FXall, which has principal offices in New York and London and connects to 70 liquidity-providing banks, became a registered vendor with settlements utility CLS Bank International. Linking FXalls Settlement Center to the CLS process allows our customers to mitigate the principal operating risk in foreign exchange, which is settlement risk, says Weisberg.
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