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Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct

November 2015

Financial Services

London, United Kingdom


International payments provider

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Business at time of investment

Currencies Direct is a leading specialist foreign exchange (“FX”) and payment solutions provider. The company enables its customers to perform FX transactions and transfers at highly competitive rates through its proprietary online platform, via email or by phone. Currencies Direct focuses on high value private retail customers and SMEs. The company has a multichannel online and offline customer acquisition capability including an extensive proprietary network of affiliates who refer customers. The company has a client base of over 150,000 customers in Europe, the US, Australasia, and South Africa and enjoys very high rates of repeat business. 

Investment rationale

The specialist segment of the foreign exchange services industry is expected to grow two to three times as fast as the overall industry, as retail and SME customers continue to shift away from banks due to the superior service and pricing offered by the specialists. The market is consolidating around larger FX specialists with the scale to absorb increased regulatory, marketing and technology costs.

Value creation

  • Recruited chairman: Appointed Antony Jenkins, former CEO of Barclays Bank, as Chairman.
  • Expanded the affiliate channel: Continued to drive affiliate revenues, increasing active clients whilst maintaining strong margins.
  • Launched next generation technology platform: Made a significant investment in digital initiatives: launched a mobile app, created an in-house incubator to accelerate digital transformation and deployed advanced pricing algorithms through new platform.
  • M&A: Completed two value-accretive acquisitions in 2017.