ICAP to review cash equities

The world's largest interdealer broker ICAP, said it was reviewing its agency broking business in equities and its chief executive would quit a senior job in politics in the wake of a profit warning that sent its shares into a nosedive this month.

"The group is conducting a broad-ranging strategic review of some of its cash equities businesses," ICAP said in a statement yesterday. Founder and CEO, Michael Spencer, meanwhile, plans to quit as treasurer to Britain's opposition Conservative Party in the autumn, a company spokesman said.

One analyst said ICAP stock had historically traded at high multiples due to Spencer's success in identifying new businesses and converting them into profits. But a source close to the company said Spencer's plan to resign his political job was unrelated to ICAP's fortunes and that he had made this intention known in 2009, much before the firm's recent problems.

ICAP issued a profit warning on February 5 after some new businesses, including cash equities, took longer than expected to make money.

 

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