Interdealer brokers GFI and Icap are to acquire undisclosed minority interest stakes in the Chicago-based Clearing Corporation under plans to expand their participation in over-the-counter derivatives trading.
The Clearing Corporation has been scouting for new business since the Chicago Board of Trade switched its clearing operations to the neighbouring Chicago Mercantile Exchange following CCorp's dalliance with competitive Swiss-German exchange Eurex.
GFI and Icap say they will work with CCorp to develop new clearing services for credit and interest rate derivatives. The establishment of a centralised clearing mechanism should allow market participants to more effectively net offsetting transactions, they say, while boosting capacity through the elimination of backlogs and lengthy settlement times in the OTC markets.
Michael Gooch, chairman and chief executive officer of GFI, says: "Ultimately, we believe that centralised clearing will further expand the market for OTC derivative products through added settlement efficiency and reliability."
Other investors to have taken a stake in CCorp - viewed as a potentially valuable commodity as an independent clearing operation - include Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Eurex.