05.17.2016
By John D'Antona

ITG Sheds Research Unit

Independent execution broker and financial technology provider ITG sold its investment research group to Leucadia National Corporation. This marks the second time in two weeks that the firm is slimming down its operations.

Last week, Markets Media reported that the firm is closing down its Canadian inter-listed proprietary arbitrage trading desk. According to an ITG press officer, the sales of the trading unit and now the research unit, allows the company to focus on its core mission of providing the best client execution.

The firm expects to save $3 million per year as a result of the sale.

Earlier this year, Frank Troise, the CEO of ITG said that the firm would scrutinize its entire business model as the firm struggled to rebuild trust and its client base after being fined $20 million by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2015 for alleged wrongdoing in its Posit dark pool.

“The sale of our remaining research operations and the associated cost reduction measures we took today provide clarity to our clients, our shareholders and our employees that our strategic focus and resource allocation will be applied to our core capabilities in execution, liquidity, platforms and analytics,” the CEO said in a release.

The sale of the Investment Research arm is subject to customary conditions and the transaction is expected to close at the end of May. Upon close, ITG Investment Research will operate as M Science.

Under the terms of the agreement, Leucadia will acquire ITG Investment Research for $12 million in cash. ITG expects to generate a net increase in cash of more than $5 million. ITG does not expect to book a material gain or loss from this transaction after related costs and taxes and the write-down of the remaining intangibles associated with ITG Investment Research.

However, ITG said that it plans to take a restructuring charge of approximately $1.6 million to reduce the headcount within its U.S. high-touch sales trading operation as a result of this sale.

ITG Investment Research currently provides data driven research in the Consumer, Telecom, Media, Technology and Macro sectors, covering more than 200 companies. The firm will continue to deliver energy research to institutional investors under its prior agreement following the sale of RS Energy Group to an affiliate of Warburg Pincus in December 2015.

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