Geely Group

Geely Group Formally Takes Over SAXO Bank Post All-Necessary Regulatory Approvals, August 2018 FX Trading Turnover Lowest in Two Years

Saxo BankThe Dutch-based Retail fx and CFD brokerage group, SAXO Bank has formally announced that it has obtained all the legal and regulatory approvals that allows China’s Geely Group and Sampo plc of Finland to acquire shares of the SAXO Bank A/S. The deal was hatched in October 2017, when SAXO’s shareholder agreed to sell control of the company to Nordic financial services group Sampo taking a 19.9 per cent stake alongside the Chinese investment giant, Geely Group taking 52 per cent of the ownership. Geely Group is better known as the owner of Volvo and manufacturer of iconic London taxis.

Following the approval and new ownership structure came into place with Daniel Donghui Li elected as Chairman and also appointed new members of the board at an extraordinary general meeting on September 13, 2018, marking the successful closure of transactions. The new Board composition includes:

  • Daniel Donghui Li, Chairman
  • Henrik Normann, Vice-chairman
  • Ian Zhang, Board Member
  • Preben Damgaard, Board Member
  • Patrick Lapveteläinen, Board Member

In the ownership change deal, TPG Capital Lars Seier Christensen and Sinar Mas have sold 29.26 per cent, 25.71 per cent and 9.9 per cent respectively of their holdings in the group. The closing of the transaction required regulatory approval from 11 different financial and competition authorities.

Kim Fournais, CEO of Saxo Bank
Kim Fournais, CEO of Saxo Bank

CEO and Founder, Kim Fournais, said:

“Today, we proudly welcome Geely and Sampo as shareholders. It is an important milestone for Saxo Bank and for me personally as CEO, founder and shareholder. The track-records of both Geely and Sampo are unparalleled and I am confident that the new ownership structure will provide us with the right foundation to deliver long-term growth. With Geely as a shareholder, we will benefit from a strong position in growth markets in the Asia region, with Greater China at its core.  At the same time Sampo, as the leading blue-chip investor in the Nordic financial industry, further strengthens our Nordic foundation.”

Daniel Donghui Li, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Geely Holding Group and Chairman of the board at Saxo Bank, said:

“We believe that Saxo Bank’s technologies and products can be effectively expanded across Asia, where we hope to build on its strong reputation in global financial and regulatory technology. This is expected to generate synergies from the development of financial services in the Chinese market.”

SampoKari Stadigh, Chief Executive Officer and President, Sampo Group, added:

“Saxo Bank is one of the most interesting companies in the Nordic fintech sector. Saxo Bank’s unique and highly advanced trading and investment platforms are, in our view, the best in the market and have great potential globally. We are excited to be part of this success story.”

Lowest Fx Trading Turnover in Two Years

At the same time around, it announced its August 2018 operational metrics marking the slowest client trading volumes in the two years period. The Fx trading volume which contributes 70 per cent of the net volume, dropped below $200 billion mark to $195.5 billion. For the last few months, SAXO Bank is reporting lower volumes on a month-on-month basis due to the restructuring process. Post-change of ownership, the group will now focus more on the Chinese market and also has formed a team through multiple top-level executive hiring.