16: ECU Group

You’ve seen the adverts: “Paying too much for your mortgage?” Well, savvy homeowners come to ECU Group for their nifty multi-currency mortgages, skimming thousands off their payments by switching between euros, dollars and pounds. ECU is a specialist currency manager.

The Mayfair-based company currently manages in excess of £900m for its portfolio of 15 banks, institutions and high net worth individuals. The company was founded in 1988 by Charles Romilly, Michael Petley and John Royden, before becoming a subsidiary of ED&F Man in 2000. Petley led a management buyout in 2003, and he and Romilly still serve as directors in the company.

The pair has 50 years’ experience trading currencies between them. “We focus on the often overlooked side: liabilities,” says Romilly. “We place debt in currencies that fall in value relative to sterling.” ECU is now the UK’s leading multi-currency loan manager. The company takes a 20 per cent commission on profitable currency transactions. Latest sales figures are £7.1m, with a compound growth rate of 130 per cent. Margins stand at 35 per cent.


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