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Retail investors powering OpenMarkets towards an IPO


OpenMarkets Group (OMG) is readying itself for an ASX listing following an announcement this week that it had made a series of board level appointments. “Major appointments include Naseema Sparks AM as chairman; Andrew Rutherford and Paul Rayson as non-executive directors; Bob Alexander as executive director and chief financial officer; and Phil Cussen as chief technology officer,” the company said. The move to IPO comes with the company already having raised $10 million in pre-IPO funding recently.  

  • OpenMarkets services more than 180,000 accounts and records $50 billion (US$38.3 billion) in annual trading turnover. It has over 150 business-to-business (B2B) clients, including fintech platforms SelfWealth, Stockspot, and Superhero, while its technology “stack” supports over 750 financial advisors. It is said to be the second largest retail trading platform by volume.

    The new additions will add extra credibility and experience to a relatively new start-up that will ultimately help when raising capital. The company says its new chair, Ms. Sparks AM, is former managing director of M&C Saatchi in Australia and brings more than 15 years’ experience as listed company non-executive director and chair of high-growth consumer-facing technology companies, including steering a number of pre-IPO organisations through to a successful ASX listing.

    OpenMarkets has also acquired financial adviser platform InvestFit, which will be rebranded to OpenMarkets Advice. InvestFit is “a goals-based advice tool that combines stochastic modelling and portfolio optimisation, generating advice at high levels of confidence and improving client outcomes and engagement, while also increasing efficiency and compliance for the adviser,” says the company.

    CEO Ivan Tchourilov spoke to the AFR, saying “the business was supporting the rise in the number of retail investors and hoped to give people the ability to create their own wealth while giving them the right information and tools to do so.”

    Since the pandemic, research conducted by Investment Trends puts the number of active online investors in Australia at a record high of 1.25 million, after 435,000 people placed their first trade in the past 12 months. This influx of young and inexperienced market traders occurred during the coronavirus pandemic. This survey found that “18 per cent were found to be younger than 25 years of age and 49 per cent were between 25 and 39, indicating an ‘unprecedented’ spike in activity by Millennial and Gen Z Australians.”

    OpenMarkets will overtake CMC Markets and Westpac’s Ausiex to become Australia’s second largest retail broker. Details are limited at the moment but what we do know is the pre-IPO round was led by Investec Corporate Advisory & E&P Corporate Advisory. No date has been set, but our guess is that it won’t be long before more details are out.

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