ODL Securities agrees purchase of bestconnectTM from Dresdner Kleinwort

22 January 2007

Acquisition of leading electronic dealing service makes ODL Securities the UK’s second largest RSP*

ODL Securities, the London-based equities, derivatives and FX trading house, has agreed the purchase of bestconnectTM, the leading UK retail service provider (RSP) electronic dealing service, from investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort.

As part of the deal, the business will begin to transfer to ODL on a phased basis with the aim it will be fully migrated by 30 June. Initially clients’ trading counterparty, connectivity routes and settlement procedures will remain unchanged. Key Dresdner Kleinwort staff, who currently manage the business, will also transfer to ODL Securities.

bestconnect is one of the UK's leading RSP platforms which ranked 2nd by volume of trades in 2006 according to LSE data. It has a strong client base comprising predominantly UK retail stockbrokers, private banks and private client investment managers. The business offers electronic deal-at-quote and limit order executions as well as traditional sales trading execution services in more than 8,000 tradable instruments including: UK, US and European Equities; Investment Trusts; ETFs; Covered Warrants and Index Certificates.

The acquisition of bestconnect means ODL Securities becomes the UK’s second largest RSP and strengthens the Company’s offering in equities in particular. It gives existing ODL clients access to and benefit from the deal-at-quote and limit order capability of the bestconnect platform as well as a broader product range and service offering. In addition, the acquisition gives ODL the opportunity to cross-sell its FOREX, CFD and derivatives products to bestconnect’s traditional customer base.

In time ODL intends to leverage bestconnect’s highly sophisticated risk management and price making technology to facilitate its entry into other new financial product areas. The bestconnect team, led by Andrew Rowland, which will join ODL, brings with them a wide range of skills required to run and grow an advanced algorithmic execution business.

Commenting on the divestment of bestconnect, Alan Yarrow, Vice Chairman of Dresdner Kleinwort, said: “bestconnect has a great track record and further potential. We believe ODL Securities is an excellent fit to be the new owner of the business and look forward to working with them over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition. As part of this agreement, Dresdner Kleinwort will continue to provide prices on the bestconnect platform for UK small and mid-cap stocks and investment trusts.“

Commenting on the acquisition, Graham Wellesley, Chief Executive of ODL Securities said: “This is a very exciting acquisition for ODL Securities. In addition to widening our product offering to our existing clients, it will allow us to gain closer working relationships with an important and active client community in the financial markets and brings us a sophisticated technology platform to help us enter new markets internationally.”

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