Global Movers could consider strategic investor as it expands market coverage - CEO

May 28, 2019

Global Movers, a Singapore-based trader of multiple asset classes using a self-developed trading system, could consider having a strategic investor as it expands to cover more Asian markets, starting with Malaysia and Thailand, Chief Executive Of

Global Movers is involved in spread trading through its wholly owned operational entity Asia Management Fund.

A brokerage firm with a regional presence, for instance, could be a potential suitor for Global Movers. This firm can acquire a significant minority stake in the company and gain access to the company’s proprietary Mosaic trading system, the CEO said.

In return, Global Movers can leverage the investor’s resources such as colocation assets in a stock exchange, which would enable the company to trade more competitively by riding on faster connectivity, the executive said.

That said, the company, which is already profitable, has not launched a formal process to seek an investor.

Founded in 2009, the market maker trades across equities, equity derivatives, foreign exchange, and fixed income using funds from shareholders only, Granucci said.

It has been trading since 2011 using the Mosaic system developed by the founding team. The company has experienced no monthly loss for 100 consecutive months through different market cycles, according to a company press release on 20 May.

The Mosaic system adopts quantitative techniques to generate alpha, analyzing a broad range of data points and technical indicators, according to the company’s website.

Asembly Markets, an investment vehicle associated with Hong Kong-based STI Financial Group, acquired a 35% stake in Global Movers for an undisclosed sum in 2017, as disclosed by Global Movers.

Global Movers was advised by KPMG in the 2017 transaction, the CEO said. Asembly Markets subsequently increased its stake to 40% in 2018, he added.

Following the 2017 transaction, the company has been working closely with the institutional shareholder in developing an algorithm to automate its trading system and increase the coverage of securities, Granucci said. The algorithm will enable the company to identify more trading opportunities across markets, based on the pre-defined rules of the Mosaic system, as per the press release.

The model of Global Movers, according to the CEO, is comparable to New York-based high-speed trader Virtu Financial [NASDAQ:VRTS].

Virtu Financial, which counts Singapore’s state-owned investment house Temasek Holdings among its shareholders, has trading presence at more than 235 venues globally.

Virtu Financial was founded in 2008 to trade with its own money. Last year, it acquired New Yorkbased broker-dealer Investment Technology Group that executes trades for institutional investors for about USD 1bn. In 2017, it acquired New York-based rival KCG Holdings for around USD 1.4bn based on 1.7x EBITDA or 6.7x P/E, as per Mergermarket’s deal database.

by Lizzie Ko in Singapore