Alpari in administration: 170 jobs at risk at spreadbetter

Tim Wallace
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High-profile Alpari sponsors West Ham
Spreadbetting platform Alpari called in administrators from KPMG yesterday after it made huge losses in the wake of the Swiss franc’s shock appreciation last week.

Its Bishopsgate office was in lockdown as bosses scrambled to find a buyer to rescue the business.

But despite interest from firms thought to include IG Group and Australian firm Pepperstone, the Russian-backed Alpari had to enter administration.

The next hope for staff is that chunks of the business are bought by competitors.

Potential bidders for assets include ETX Capital SpreadCo and FXCM, as well as IG and Pepperstone.

“We have had a number of enquiries from interested parties in relation to the company’s business,” said KPMG’s Richard Heis. “We will be speaking with these parties and others over the next few days, and hope to secure a deal to preserve the business and jobs as far as possible.”

Alpari has close to £100m of client funds in segregated accounts, which cannot be taken to pay its liabilities.

KPMG is setting up a hotline today for clients to call for information on how to access the funds.

As an administrator, KPMG is also expected to chase up debts owed to Alpari.

Typically currency movements are relatively small, so Alpari was prepared to let clients leverage up by as much as 500-times their capital outlay.

But when the franc soared by almost 30 per cent, clients could not immediately cover their losses, leaving them to Alpari.

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