Tullett Prebon looks to growth markets

TULLETT PREBON will focus on hiring in South America and Asia Pacific rather than replacing departed staff in the US, chief executive Terry Smith said yesterday.

Smith said the world’s second largest interdealer broker had “certainly built people back into the main areas” affected by the defection of 10 senior brokers from its North American business to rival BGC Partners last year. But he said Tullett wanted to increase its presence in emerging markets by adding employees in Sao Paulo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Smith told City A.M.: “[US] markets have to some degree deteriorated. It’s a matter of concentrating your resources where you think you can get the best returns.”

Tullett already has 360 people working in Asia Pacific. But despite his enthusiasm for growth markets, Smith said China and India were less appealing to interdealer brokers because of the requirement to partner with a local player.

His comments came as Tullett said pre-tax profits fell 15.3 per cent to £78.6m in the first half. Revenues were down 8.1 per cent to £475.8m, partly impacted by the BGC raid in North America.

The firm raised its interim dividend five per cent to 5.25p.

Keith Baird at Oriel Securities said the numbers had been widely expected, adding: “It was a good first half and they were reasonably optimistic about the outlook.”