Exclusive: FX brokerage Destek Markets looking to sell London-based UK division

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There can be no question that London is the pinnacle of the FX industry, be that due to the 30 year representation by the world’s largest Western-market retail FX brokerages with publicly listed stock and vast market capitalization, the completely London-centric prime of prime brokerage sector, or the interbank Tier 1 FX desks within the largest financial institutions in the world that sit along the banks of the River Thames.

Thus, given its tremendous pedigree as the world’s center for financial services and the associated infrastructure and technology that powers the global markets, London holds the accolade for being the place to be, hence partners, suppliers and customers choose London before all else regardless of their position in the world.

Tuna Yilmaz

Whilst British companies dominate the retail FX sector in the Square Mile, overseas firms looking to elevate their standing have entered the market over the past few years, some with great success and others unable to raise their bar on a permanent basis.

This month, Turkish FX company Destek Markets has begun reviewing offers from potential purchasers of its British, FCA registered Destek Markets UK operations.

The company’s presence in London came about very recently, with its Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) license having been issued in February 2017, and the office having officially opened in July last year.

At the beginning of this month, senior management announced to certain staff that there would be some redundancies, with notices having been handed to the staff concerned on January 3, streamlining the firm in its pre-sale stage.

Destek’s move to the UK began with fine pedigree indeed.

Former Rosenthal Collins Head Trader and LIFFE listed derivatives trader Matthew Wright was appointed CEO at Destek’s 100 Fenchurch Street address.

Whilst he has a substantial history within the listed derivatives sector, Mr Wright operated a joint venture between GAIN Capital’s UK division and Rosenthal Collins for nine years before joining Destek.

At the end of last month, Mr Wright left his position as CEO of Destek Markets UK, and joined Capital Index as CEO, however this was according to numerous sources within the company not connected to the decision by Destek Markets UK’s holdings company to sell the firm.

FinanceFeeds spoke to Tuna Yilmaz, Senior Director at Destek Markets, who explained this morning

“Destek Markets confirms that it is currently reviewing a number of proposals with regard to a potential sale of its business as a going concern  As there is no guarantee that any such proposal will be acceptable to the Board, Destek Markets continues to trade and make available FX and CFDs to its customers.”

Very soon after establishment in the summer last year, Destek’s UK division began embarking on an expansion into the Asia Pacific region.

The company entered into a liquidity partnership with Hong Kong based m-FINANCE under the auspices of Destek UK’s Institutional Sales Director Daniel Lawrance, himself a senior FX industry executive with vast experience at IG Group, Saxo Bank and Destek’s compatriot GKFX as Director of Institutional Sales before moving to Destek in October 2017.

Matthew Wright

GKFX is a company with a vast network of introducing brokers (IBs) in China, all of which place business with GKFX’s UK division, although GKFX is traditionally a Turkish company, thus it can be assumed that Destek may have been aiming to achieve similar results within the very lucrative Chinese IB sector by establishing in the UK with the highly regarded FCA regulatory license and approaching China from the People’s Republic’s most preferred destination for sending business, thus among many other attractive features, purchasing the firm with its Asia-focused liquidity agreements in place and prestigious FCA license could be a means for a new owner to go down that route very effectively.

The decision to make a sale relates to the UK division only, and there will be  no change with regard to the Turkish business.

FinanceFeeds is aware that Destek Markets has received some offers from potential acquirers, and is expecting some more, however it is understood that the firm will make a decision once all offers have been reviewed and at this stage there is no guarantee that the company will be sold.

Whilst certain members of staff have been given notice, there is still a level of senior management maintaining the operations in order to ensure a good transition should a deal go ahead.

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