Sjak & Rey BVFollowing the IPO of Flow Traders last year, quite a few people have left the company. The younger generation is chained with golden handcuffs to the firm.

The veteran staff, who were around when Roger Hodenius launched his firm, are free to go. They didn’t sign up for buying discounted shares at the IPO. They are already loaded with shares.

Two of the lucky early birds left Flow Traders to start a new venture. Not something completely different, but exactly the same. Building a liquidity provider in the ETF business.

Loaded Flow Veterans start rival

Reymon Tse and Sjak Kuipers launched the new ETF trading outfit.

Sjak Kuipers followed Roger Hodenius from Optiver to Flow Traders. Sjak Kuipers, also known as “mr champagne“, has a small fortune of approximately €30 million. It’s the guy on the front row on the right side in this picture. Nobody saw him before in a suit.

Reymon Tse net worth is €100 million, according to a modest estimate by the Dutch rich list Quote 500 (link, nl). He still owns shares in Flow Traders. With a stake of 3,3% in Flow Traders he’s the fourth biggest shareholder of the firm. Behind Roger Hodenius and Jan van Kuijk (both 14,27%) and Summit.

Reymon has a reputation of being a bit impossible difficult to work with. The AFM made an error in his first name. It’s Reymon, not Raymond.

Not quiet on the eastern front

Reymon and Sjak were directors at Flow Traders Singapore. Wasn’t the most successful unit of Flow Traders. Both guys are wealthy, which comes in handy when building a new firm. This is also bears a risk. It’s common for people to get overconfident after striking it rich (“I’ve got millions, so I must be a genius”).

The new name for their firm is still vague. The non-compete period only recently ended, people are cautious to talk about the matter. I have a clue about the shell company, but the Singapore chamber of commerce is only open for residents. Word is the new company is located in the same building as Flow Traders in Singapore.

Will it hurt Flow Traders?

The risk for Flow Traders seems limited. Having inside knowledge and a war chest sounds as a terrible combination for any new contender.  Yet, actually building a successful company from the scratch is another ballgame. The software, the low latency connections and a professional organization isn’t build on a day.

Q2 earnings on August 12th

Friday Flow Trades will release their quarterly earnings. The second quarter consisted of boring months and an exiting Brexit week. Virtu figures weren’t too great last week. Highlight was Virtu will give JP Morgan access to their infrastructure and technology for trading US Treasuries.

Flow Traders and Virtu have a few things in common. Both aren’t the fastest kids in town. Still, they are hard to compare. Flow Traders is concentrating efforts on ETF’s only, while Virtu is active in more diverse fields of trading.

Disclaimer : no position in Flow Traders, small long position in Virtu