Broker TP ICAP mulls expanding its digital assets operation

TP ICAP, the London-based interdealer broker, is considering the expansion of its activities in crypto after growing interest from its institutional clients.

The origins of the firm’s digital asset unit – which was first unveiled in June 2019 – lie in a working group set up to conduct research on the sector following the crypto boom of 2017.

To date, the unit has focused on facilitating institutional trading by providing clients OTC liquidity on crypto derivative products offered by regulated venues CME Group and Bakkt, a subsidiary of Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

Founded in 1971 and now one of the world’s largest interdealer brokers, TP ICAP is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index with a market capitalization of around £1.9 billion. The company netted £1.8 billion in revenues in 2019, according to a recent presentation.

Duncan Trenholme and Simon Forster have led TP ICAP’s digital assets division since December 2018, and have been focused on it full-time since January of last year.

Forster told The Block the firm could expand into providing access to spot crypto markets after a surge in client demand for familiar market infrastructure, but the firm is still weighing its options. 

“2020 was a flagship year in the maturation of digital assets as an asset class for TP ICAP and we have seen significant interest across our traditional customer base,” he added.

“Over time, we fully expect this asset class to grow and include products similar to those seen in other TP ICAP businesses including OTC derivatives, structured products and infrastructure to support spot access.”

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