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TP Icap eyes Paris and Frankfurt in hunt for post-Brexit hub

Lucy Burton
Prince Harry talks on the phone during an ICAP Charity Trading Day - Geoff Pugh

The world's largest interdealer broker, TP Icap, has emerged as the latest financial giant considering creating a European hub in Paris or Frankfurt after Brexit. 

The City broker, known for its celebrity-backed annual charity day which has hosted notable figures such as Prince Harry, said it has been forced to pull the trigger on its Brexit plans, given the lack of clarity.

"Our work to prepare for Brexit has been hampered by political uncertainty which persists into 2018. As a result, we have now moved from analysis and planning to decisions and action," it told investors on Tuesday. 

Chief executive John Phizackerley said the hub will likely house more than twenty staff who will be "finance types, audit types [and] IT types" as well as lawyers and compliance experts. The list of potential locations include the "obvious contenders" in France and Germany as well as a "few others," he added.   

The group, which was created from Tullett Prebon's £1.2bn takeover of Icap's telephone broking division in December 2016, had expected to make £10m in cost savings from the deal last year but said on Tuesday it had saved £27m after almost 300 job cuts. 

A large portion of the redundancies came from senior members of staff as the newly-merged company tried to slim down its structure, having previously had two heads in each region. More reductions are expected this year. 

Mr Phizackerley said that while it would be "dumb" to try and put a number on 2018's redundancies at this stage, there would be fewer cuts than last year. "I've been to a lot of senior retirement parties [recently]," he said.

Shares in the company slumped more than 7pc on Tuesday morning, however, as the results also revealed that costs from the deal had hit £79m rather than the £40m originally forecast. 

It also flagged a £14m cost from Mifid II, a major piece of reform which came into force in January, warning that while this was a one-off cost "the burden of regulatory requirements is unlikely to abate in 2018" and it expects to incur further costs related to Brexit.