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4 Michael Spencer

Chief Executive Officer

Michael Spencer began to assemble his interdealer brokerage empire in 1986 when he founded Intercapital in London, initially focusing on interest rate swaps. By 1999, Spencer had combined it with other firms to form Garban-Intercapital, which is now the £1.7 billion-in-revenue ($2.8 billion) ICAP. In early 2000, recalls the colorful, straight-talking billionaire, “I recognized the future of interdealer broking was in electronic broking.” That sent him off on another string of acquisitions, notably two joint ventures of banks: e-brokerage platform BrokerTec Global in 2003 and the foreign exchange market’s EBS in 2006. With these purchases well in place, group CEO Spencer, 56, has turned his focus to organic growth and expansion of the existing infrastructure. He sees opportunity in regulators’ desire “to lower operational and systemic risk through greater automation and increased transparency of trading execution” — an end supported by posttrade servicer TriOptima, in which ICAP early last year boosted its minority stake to 100 percent. “We are in the middle of a major shift in the OTC markets as regulators look to take them increasingly electronic,” Spencer says. ICAP aims to even out its operating profits among voice brokering, e-brokering and posttrade risk, which were at 46 percent, 33 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in 2010. Total operating profits rose 6 percent, to £375 million.