Irish fintech Chasing Returns bought out by US-listed group

StoneX takes majority stake in Dublin company that makes software for day traders

Nasdaq-listed financial services group StoneX has bought a majority stake in Dublin-based fintech start-up Chasing Returns, which makes software that aims to help amateur market traders boost their performance.

Chasing Returns, which was founded by former JP Morgan executive Ann Hunt, is currently backed by investors including Ivan Fox, the former chairman of Merrion Capital. The State is also an investor via Enterprise Ireland and the National Digital Research Centre. The company is chaired by former Bank of Scotland (Ireland) chief executive Joe Higgins.

Mr Higgins and Ms Hunt declined to comment on the deal on Friday.

Recent filings by Chasing Returns suggest that StoneX, which has annual revenues of about $1.3 billion, has agreed a deal to buy out the majority of the share owned by existing investors, although the documents do not clarify which investors are staying onboard and which are cashing in.


Shares allocated

In recent weeks, a sizeable minority stake in the business was allocated to several members of staff at Chasing Returns, including its marketing executive, the stand-up comedian Marise Gaughan, as well as a number of its software developers and managers.

Shares in Chasing Returns were also allocated in recent weeks to corporate financier Conor Sheahan’s CKS Finance.

Ms Hunt spent over a decade on Wall Street in the 1980s and 1990s working in risk management, before returning to Ireland where she held a variety of roles in technology businesses.

She also traded on capital markets in a private capacity. This eventually led her to set up Chasing Returns to develop systems that aim to help amateur retail traders eliminate psychological bias and achieve better returns. Chasing Returns says its products are backed by techniques from behavioural science.

In December, Chasing Returns announced a partnership with online traders group Gain Capital to make the Irish company's products available to users of Gain's trading platforms, such as Forex. com and City Index.

Gain is also owned by StoneX, which bought it last year in a $236 million deal. Chasing Returns’s other major clients include foreign-exchange broker Oanda.

StoneX is buying Chasing Returns using a Dutch subsidiary, company documents suggest. StoneX, which provides market-trading services to companies and individuals, has about 3,000 staff worldwide and says it handles 32,000 corporate trading accounts and 330,000 active retail traders. It has 70 offices globally, including a small operation in Dublin.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times