Penson Sells Clearing Operation to PEAK6
Traders Magazine Online News, June 1, 2012
Penson Worldwide has sold its clearing operations to PEAK6 Investments. Chicago-based PEAK6 is forming a new entity, Apex Clearing Corporation, as a result of the acquisition.
Under the terms of the agreement, Apex Clearing has agreed to acquire the correspondent and customer accounts and contracts of the securities division of Penson's U.S. broker-dealer subsidiary Penson Financial Services, which covers approximately 230 U.S.-based securities correspondents and one million customer accounts.
The agreement does not include Penson's futures or Canadian operations.
Apex Clearing is expected to begin operations in the coming days following the completion of certain closing conditions and receipt of required regulatory approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA.
"This transaction resolves an urgent need in the marketplace today to maintain stability and continuity for Apex Clearing's customers," said Brad Goldberg, President of PEAK6, in a release.
Bryce Engel, president of Penson Worldwide, added that the transaction represents the best solution for the company's U.S. securities correspondents, their customers and related counterparties.
Lower equity trading volumes and interest rates have hurt the clearing business, according to one senior trading executive.
"Clearing firms are really suffering out here," the trader said. "There is no trading volume to support clearing, plus interest rates are so low that there isn't much money to be made on balances borrowed for margin account funding."
PEAK6 will provide the capital, management team, day-to-day operational oversight and risk management discipline necessary to run the Apex business. Danny Rosenthal, a senior partner at PEAK6, will be chief executive officer of Apex Clearing.
Penson will initially provide transitional services and retain an economic interest in Apex Clearing.
Apex Clearing is also putting a new agreement in place for Broadridge Financial to provide the securities processing technology platform and back-office services for Apex which Broadridge currently provides to Penson's correspondents.
Additional details of the transaction will be provided in subsequent Penson and Broadridge filings with the SEC.
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