News breaks this morning from the Hertfordshire headquarters of spread betting broker Spreadex, that the company’s founder and long-term MD Jonathan Hufford has stepped down from his position, though he will remain a director and board member at the business, in a non-executive capacity.
How has Spreadex traded during the pandemic?
Mr Hufford founded Spreadex in 1999 and has seen the business grow steadily since then, to the point that the company was able to report annual revenues of more than £69.0 million for the financial year 2021.
A record figure for the business and one that showed a + 40% growth rate, when compared to the revenue it produced in 2020.
The pandemic created a double-edged sword for Spreadex, on the one hand furloughed workers, and those working from home, had more time on their hands and opened financial trading accounts.
However, at the same time, the lockdown wrecked the sporting calendar, putting the company’s sports spread betting business under immense pressure.
Though that business now appears to have rebounded, with the reopening of the economy, the resumption of professional sports and the attendance of fans at sporting events.
Spreadex’s financial spread betting and margin trading business has carved a niche for itself in UK equities and offers clients access to a large number of Mid and small cap names, that some of the larger operators don’t trade in.
What’s next for Spreadex?
Spreadex is a private company and not a listed business, however Mr Hufford and his fellow shareholders have reaped the benefits of the uptick in client activity and the flood of new accounts as Spreadex is reported to have paid out some £25.10 million in dividends over the last year.
David Mackenizie, who joined Spredex back in 2003, has taken over CEO duties from Mr Hufford and he will be joined in the C-suite by a new CFO James Hallan,who has previously worked at William Hill, Sainsburys, Linklaters, Rio Tinto and KPMG.
Whether or not Mr Huffords decision to step back, and the appointment of Mr Hallan are the first steps to a future IPO or trade sale, it’s too early to say.
And clearly the company is doing very well, at the moment, as a privately owned business, however it is a possibility worth thinking about.
We wish Mr Hufford well in whatever venture he turns his attention to next.