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Foreign Exchange

Pacific Investments launches foreign exchange execution and advisory service

Pacific Investments, the private investment and private equity firm, has launched Argentex LLP, a foreign exchange execution and advisory service aimed at the medium-sized commercial market.

Argentex runs a matched principal broker model aimed at corporates, institutions, government agencies and not-for-profit organizations with foreign exchange requirements of up to £1 billion. This is seen as a client segment whose risk-management needs are too big for most retail FX brokers, but too small to be adequately serviced by the main banks.

“There is a gap in the market for a boutique, commercial, foreign exchange provider that delivers an expert consultative and execution service from experienced professionals, backed by the resources of a highly successful private equity firm,” says Carl Jani, chief executive of Argentex. “That is where Argentex sits.”

Jani, who was previously head of desk at Schneider FX, joined Pacific earlier in the year to launch the new foreign exchange venture. He came in alongside former Schneider colleagues Harry Adams, who was appointed as managing director, and Andrew Egan, who will manage the sales division.

The business will be predominantly voice-driven, and will also make use of instant messaging via channels such as Bloomberg chat.

Argentex says its strong bilateral relationships in the market allow it to get as close to the interbank rate as needed to undercut potential rivals and win business.

“That’s an interesting hook for a lot of people, but the main reason why people would stay with us is the level of personal service,” says Jani.

“When you’re dealing with a much smaller business, such as Argentex, there are fewer layers of hierarchy, meaning the service can be tailor-made to suit each client’s needs.”

Clients will have the direct line and mobile number of their trader, allowing for a more personalized service and greater transparency when placing currency trades.

Argentex says its clients can also rest assured that no conflict in interests will arise with its broking model.

“Because we are a matched principal broker and we don’t take any house positions, we are impartial,” says Jani. “Our views aren’t slanted towards any house books or what the house analysts are saying and so our focus is always to match the requirements of our clients as effectively as possible.”

The Argentex advisory board is chaired by Lord Digby Jones, the former Director General of the Confederation of British Industry. Also on the board is Sir John Beckwith, chairman of Pacific Investments, and Jim Pettigrew, the former CFO of ICAP plc and current non-executive director of Aberdeen Asset Management and Hermes.

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