Irish fintech firm Assure Hedge receives full UK authorisation

Company exits ‘sandbox’ programme and has already started onboarding clients

Assure Hedge founder Barry McCarthy: “We have effectively been given the same regulation that large banks have, so it really allows us to compete with the big players.”

Assure Hedge founder Barry McCarthy: “We have effectively been given the same regulation that large banks have, so it really allows us to compete with the big players.”

 

Assure Hedge, a Dublin-based provider of foreign exchange technology to protect businesses from currency fluctuations, has received full authorisation from the UK financial regulator to offer its services to hedge funds.

The fintech start-up was last year among 24 companies selected to take part in the Financial Conduct Authority’s “sandbox” programme, which allows businesses to test innovative products and services in a “live environment” while ensuring customers remain protected.

“After eight months of hard work, we are incredibly pleased to have finally successfully exited the Sandbox programme and are delighted to announce that we can trade as a fully regulated company,” Assure Hedge founder and chief executive Barry McCarthy told The Irish Times.

“The beauty of this regulation is that we can now offer our hedging services through our instant quote generation platform to businesses and people all across Europe. It is also a massive validation of our product,” he added.

Forex exposure

Assure Hedge has developed a platform that makes it easier for companies to eliminate uncertainty around their forex exposure.

The company is primarily focused on the UK, although it intends to operate in other markets, including Ireland.

“We have effectively been given the same regulation that large banks have, so it really allows us to compete with the big players,” Mr McCarthy told The Irish Times.

Mr McCarthy, established Assure Hedge in March 2016, having spent the previous 15 years working as a financial markets trader. The company currently employs 13 people in Dublin and last year announced plans to raise €3 million to aid its expansion and take on additional staff.

Mr McCarthy said Assure Hedge’s participation in the sandbox programme has been highly productive, with the start-up testing the system by carrying out 26 live transactions that were all profitable.

Assure Hedge said the company was looking at moving beyond just providing forex hedging to also cover interest rate and possibly diesel price hedging.

Mr McCarthy was speaking ahead of the company’s participation in Temenos’s community forum in Dublin this week, an event that was expected to bring together about 1,300 participants.

Assure Hedge, which came out top at Tenemos’s Innovation Jam in Amsterdam, was one of 12 regional finalists selected to present a live demo of their product at the Dublin event.