"Weâve selected Saxo Bank over many other investment opportunities," said Florian Wendelstadt, Managing Director at GA. "We like its track record, and we believe that its market position will continue to strengthen and remain at the vanguard of the industry. Weâre encouraged by Saxo Bankâs multi-product trading capabilities, its access to the deepest liquidity pools, and its ongoing commitment to world-class technology. Together, these factors will allow Saxo Bank to capitalize on the strong secular trends driving increased electronic trading globally. This, in turn, will secure Saxo Bankâs leadership position for years to come," said Wendelstadt.
Lars Seier Christensen, co-CEO at Saxo Bank, stated, "Our commitment to technology has enabled our company to define a unique position in this industry. The substantial trading flows and client confidence we have earned over the years are genuine testimony to the staying power of Saxo Bank. General Atlanticâs participation expands the resources with which we can grow and refine our current business opportunities."
Established in 1992, Saxo Bank A/S is a specialized investment bank with a strong established presence in the global capital markets leveraging significant internal IT expertise. Of the bankâs 330 employees, just over 100 are focused on IT. Saxo Bank has been, and continues to be, an early mover in an industry characterized by rapid change, product expansion and broad acceptance of new technologies and distribution capabilities. The bank is well known for offering first class investment trading services through an online trading platform, the SaxoTrader, and for its role as a highly respected and globally recognized trading facilitator in the marketplace. As a result of the Companyâs success, Saxo Bank is one of the fastest growing firms in Europe.
The co-CEOâs of Saxo Bank, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, hold the majority of the shares, and will continue to lead the bank. In addition, GA Managing Director Florian Wendelstadt and Principal Jonathan Korngold, both of whom are based in GAâs London office, will join the Saxo Bank board of directors.
"This investment is an endorsement of a sound and rational business strategy," said Fournais. "Weâre delighted to welcome General Atlantic to Saxo Bank, and feel confident that the firmâs investment will be rewarded with progressively positive results as we pursue our program of growth through facilitation in the capital markets. The funds invested have been used to purchase a minority stake in the bank from the shareholders."
The partnership between the two companies will continue to support Saxo Bankâs growth strategy. The bankâs position as a pure-play online capital markets facilitator continues to drive revenue from direct trading partners and indirectly through financial intermediaries including 50+ white label partners, who distribute the SaxoTrader platform under their own brand, to their local client base.
The bankâs IT orientation and focus on Internet lead generation, automation and data interface enables geographic expansion. Commented Fournais, "We serve clients in more than 120 countries, and we have partners in more than 30 countries. Our growth prospects are not limited by geographic barriers. Rather, we are looking at emerging online investment communities, evolving regulatory frameworks and committed partners who believe that they can serve local traders."
Both parties strongly believe that the online capital market is here to stay and they believe that information technology is the major competitive advantage. As Saxo Bank moves ahead with business plans for the coming years they aim to gain a stronger market presence in both the US and Asia.
"We are very excited about the growth opportunities for Saxo Bank. The Company has strong momentum in the marketplace with a very high-quality client base," added GAâs Jonathan Korngold. "As retail investors increasingly seek electronic trading solutions on a global basis, Saxo Bank stands to benefit from this macro industry trend and will remain well positioned to expand both domestically and internationally."
An important distinguishing element of General Atlantic is its long-term investment horizon and value-added approach. GA invests with a view toward maintaining ownership for a significant period of time whether a company is public or private. The firm provides a strategic advisory role as an active board member working with the entrepreneur and management team to strengthen market leadership. As an early investor in E*Trade, GA helped the Company build its online capabilities and pursue an IPO, and GA is the largest shareholder of Archipelago, which is being acquired by the New York Stock Exchange.
"General Atlanticâs approach to investing makes it a very attractive investor to Saxo Bank," said co-CEO Lars Seier Christensen. "The firm offers far more than just capital. It has deep experience and expertise in information technology, a global perspective and worldwide presence, a long-term approach to investments, and it provides sustained strategic assistance for its portfolio companies."