R.J. O’Brien & Associates announced this week that it’s affiliate RJO MENA has acquired Lombard Forte Securities Limited (LFS), a Dubai-based interdealer broker, for an undisclosed amount.
R.J. O’Brien is the largest independent futures brokerage and clearing firm in the United States. LFS, on the other hand, specialises in cash equities, exchange-traded funds, equity derivatives, fixed income and structured products.
According to the company’s statement on Thursday, the acquisition is part of the Chicago-based firm’s product and geographic expansion, having established its presence in Dubai through RJO MENA in 2018.
Following the acquisition, Kunal Savjani, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of LFS has taken on the role of Senior Executive Officer of RJO MENA. In addition, he has been appointed as Managing Director, Global Head of Equities and Credit Sales for R.J. O’Brien.
Commenting on the acquisition, RJO Chairman and CEO Gerald Corcoran said in the statement: “This acquisition of Lombard Forte aligns perfectly with our strategic goals of expanding our product offering into credit and equities markets, further building on our over-the-counter presence, and broadening our geographic reach into some of the most exciting emerging markets in the world today.”
LFS brokers will remain on with R.J. O’Brien
All 14 brokers employed by LFS are now part of R.J. O’Brien. Most of them are operating out of Dubai but several are also working from the RJO Limited UK team. Fadi Kassis of Forte Securities Limited, who co-founded LFS, will continue to operate Forte Securities Limited. Kassis was previously the Chief Financial Officer of LFS.
“The culture Fadi and I created at LFS has always been a vital part of our success, and it wasn’t until I met Dan and learned more about RJO that the idea of an acquisition became very intriguing. Our team is truly excited about joining forces with this organization that is of such a like mind, particularly with its emphasis on superb quality and lasting client relationships. From our initial focus on the institutional equities market when we created LFS in the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre), the scope of the firm has steadily broadened to serving clients across a variety of markets,” added Savjani.