RJ O'Brien expands in Dubai

RJ O'Brien expands in Dubai

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RJ O’Brien is strengthening its presence in Dubai with the acquisition of interdealer broker (IDB) Lombard Forte Securities (LFS).

The deal, which adds 14 brokers and continues the Chicago-based futures broker’s growth strategy, was completed through its Dubai affiliate RJO MENA.

“We’ve been interested in opportunities for expanding into other asset classes and geographies, but we are very selective in our approach to new lines of business,” RJO’s chief sales officer Dan Staniford told Global Investor. 

“Having this established IDB, experienced team and strong client base, along with a highly complementary company culture, serves as a great foundation for that expansion.”

LFS, co-founded by its chief executive officer Kunal Savjani (pictured) in 2015, specialises in cash equities, exchange-traded funds, equity derivatives, fixed income and structured products. It has 14 brokers, mostly working out of Dubai, who serve a global client base with a strong footprint in emerging markets.

Savjani now becomes senior executive officer at RJO MENA, as well as managing director, global head of equities and credit sales for RJO.

Staniford described the deal as an “organic progression”, saying RJO had been in discussions with Savjani and LFS for some time.

“As we learned more about our collective cultures, business models and goals, it became readily apparent that we could achieve great things together,” he said. “Being able to expand our cash, credit, structured product and equity offerings…is a logical progression and strategic to the long-term growth of RJO.”

Staniford said RJO would continue to seek further growth opportunities, citing examples including the introduction of its agricultural over-the-counter (OTC) offering last year and latest expansion into OTC interest rate swaps a few weeks ago.

“RJO remains fully committed to continued growth by way of product and geographic expansion,” Staniford said. “We will continue to look for opportunities not only to build the core RJO business but to find ways to add value with new products and services to both our current and prospective clients.”  

RJO in June announced an aggressive move into the soft commodities market by hiring three brokers including the former heads of softs at BGC Partners.

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