Marex Spectron to acquire Chicago-based XFA execution broker

Founded in 2001, XFA provides a broad range of services, including agency trade execution, market information and strategy, 24-hour global futures execution, and direct market access

trading

Marex Spectron, the global commodities specialist, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire X-Change Financial Access (XFA), a fast-growing exchange-traded derivatives (ETD) execution broker. The transaction, expected to close on 13 November, broadens the Marex Spectron product range, further strengthens its North American presence and builds on its global clearing infrastructure, while providing XFA clients with ready access to complementary products and services.

Headquartered in Chicago with offices in New York and San Francisco, XFA is a leading agency-only broker in benchmark global products, including equity options (S&P 500 Index Options, Volatility Index Options, Equity and Exchange-Traded Funds, and Flex-Based execution), futures and futures options (including S&P 500 Index, Eurodollar, Treasury and commodities).

Founded in 2001, XFA provides a broad range of services, including agency trade execution, market information and strategy, 24-hour global futures execution, and direct market access (DMA). Its international client list includes many of the world’s largest banks, inter-dealer brokers, hedge funds, commodity trading advisors and market makers.

XFA is today one of the leading volume brokers in global ETDs. In S&P 500 Index Options (SPX), XFA accounted for over 50% of all volumes in the first three quarters of 2019; it is consistently ranked in the top two firms, by volume, in Volatility Index Options (VIX).

The acquisition will add more than 100 XFA trading and support professionals, who will continue to be led by the management team made up of Founder and Senior Managing Partner Tim Hendricks, and Managing Partners Peter Scheffler and William Ellington.

Ian Lowitt, Chief Executive of Marex Spectron, commented: “XFA is a very exciting addition to our business. This acquisition will be an important building block in our plans to expand in North America, which is our fastest growing region. XFA is an exceptional fit, adding new products to our service offering. The acquisition creates opportunities to cross-sell our products, including clearing services, and Marex can support XFA’s geographic expansion. XFA has a very impressive track record built on its extensive market experience, with an excellent brand and dominant share across multiple products. We are adding a great team, serving a sophisticated and demanding client base, with outstanding trading and support, and highly experienced and effective management.”

Hendricks said: “Joining Marex Spectron is an important step in the evolution of XFA, as we expand our offerings and accelerate our growth out of North America. Marex Spectron is a fast-growing, ambitious firm, with similar ideals to our own, which makes this all the more exciting. Bill, Peter and I are thrilled to be joining the Marex team as there are tremendous opportunities for our business. Our management team and brokers look forward to joining a firm that understands the complexities of our industry and the importance of evolving to meet clients’ needs in an ever-changing environment. We will continue to provide our clients with ‘best execution,’ coupled with Marex Spectron’s product and service suite, affording XFA exciting growth opportunities.”

Upon completion of the transaction, XFA will be part of Marex Spectron’s fast-growing North American franchise, reporting to Ram Vittal, CEO, Marex North America. Marex North America comprises Rosenthal Collins Group and the recently acquired Matthews Group, alongside incumbent Marex Spectron metals, energy and agricultural brokerage teams in Chicago, New York, Houston, Connecticut, Calgary and Montreal. North America accounts for approximately a third of the firm’s gross revenues.

As part of Marex Spectron, XFA will be able to:

  • Grow its international footprint through a more expansive global client network
  • Offer clients a broader range of services and products
  • Leverage Marex Spectron’s balance sheet and investment-grade rating

Advantages to Marex Spectron include:

  • Accelerated growth of its franchise in North America
  • Broader product offerings and cross-selling opportunities, particularly in equity ETDs
  • Expanded global clearing infrastructure

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