Close Brothers enters futures business

Mako specialises in the European equity index option and global fixed-income option markets. Neither side revealed the size of the payment, which leaves Mako's founders and employees with a 50.1% majority holding. Close will also provide a further capital injection "to fund future growth", Mako said.

The move comes as derivatives exchanges around the world report record volumes. The Chicago Board Options Exchange reported 9.2 million contracts traded on Thursday August 16, a new record. Liffe in London also reported a record day on August 17, with more than 30 million contracts traded.

Mako said that the deal would not increase Close Brothers' exposure to the volatile derivatives market: "As a volatility trader, Mako avoids being directly exposed to movements in the underlying fixed-income and equity markets. Additionally, Mako has a market-making, rather than a positional trading focus, and has developed a specialised range of proprietary software applications, analytical tools and risk management methodologies to enable the business to generate returns in both turbulent and steady markets. These largely uncorrelated returns provide diversification benefits to Close Brothers, while at the same time avoiding the specific risks of over-the-counter derivatives trading."
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