Invast Global expands to the UK buying GMO-Z.com
Australia based institutional multi-asset broker Invast Global has announced that it plans to acquire GMO-Z.com Trade UK Limited (GMO-Z.com Trade UK) from Japanese internet giant GMO Financial Holdings Inc.
GMO-Z.com Trade UK will become the UK subsidiary of Invast Global, which itself is a subsidiary of Japan’s INV Inc. (TYO:7338), listed on the Tokyo Exchange with a market capitalization of ¥5.02 billion (USD $34 million). In addition to Invast Global, INV Inc. operates Japanese online brokerage Invast Securities at website invast.jp, and a Japanese asset management arm, Invast Capital Management Co.
GMO-Z.com Trade UK was originally set up by GMO – one of the world’s largest Retail FX brokers – to become the group’s FCA regulated arm and base in London, serving both retail and institutional clients. However the company shifted its focus to institutional, and the business never really took off, with the UK arm booking less than £1 million in revenues in each of the last two years. GMO UK posted a £1.1 million loss in 2021.
As was exclusively reported here by FNG late last year, GMO actually made a decision to relinquish GMO Z.com UK’s FCA license, applying to do so late last year. However as far as we know the license is still in effect. The decision was taken since the company decided to focus solely on agency Spot FX liquidity services, a business that is not considered regulated activity in the UK and as such does not require an FCA license (as would rolling spot forex and CFDs, Swaps, or Options).
Regarding the acquisition structure, the Board of Directors of INV Inc. has agreed to purchase 100% percent of the shareholding of GMO-Z.com Trade UK. These are to be acquired at an undisclosed price that is considered fair and reasonable after appropriate due diligence and planning conducted over the course of the year. The execution date of the share transfer has not yet been determined as it is subject to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) of the United Kingdom.
Invast Global established its first European office in Cyprus last year, as part of a strategic plan to build a global network of distribution channels in jurisdictions widely regarded for their regulatory standing.
The company said that a London office will further strengthen relationships with both existing clients and potential clients as well as vendors and partners. It will also give Invast Global access to a deep pool of talent, particularly in the areas of quantitative trading and market making, areas that the business has been expanding in recent years and that will continue to be a key focus into the future.
Takeshi Kawaji, President and CEO of INV Inc. explains the acquisition,
“Invast Global has gone from strength to strength. As we continue to expand globally, we look for opportunities that match our business strategy with product offerings that align with our expertise. Upon examination, it became clear that GMO-Z.com Trade UK complemented our existing businesses in Tokyo, Sydney and Cyprus. We see great opportunities for continued growth and are excited about the future possibilities this acquisition creates.”
Gavin White, CEO of Invast Global adds,
“As a multi-asset Prime Brokerage that has merged many decades of experience in Japanese online broking with some of the sharpest institutional brokerage executives in the industry to build a bespoke liquidity offering, this acquisition will speed up our global expansion plans that began with the office in Cyprus. This gives us access to the UK market that will further enhance our value proposition to our existing clients and enable us to continue to grow and service more clients.”