Microsoft / Saxo Bank trading venture - why did it end?

MSN Trader service disbanded after just one year.

Saxo Bank, one of the largest Forex firms in the world and industry leader in providing White Labels, announced that it is disbanding one of its highest profile White Label client relationships, with Microsoft - almost exactly one year to the day that the relationship was first announced in November 2010. The "MSN Trader - Powered by Saxo Bank" platform was meant to turn Microsoft into a White Label of Saxo Bank, via the more than one million monthly visitors to Microsoft's MSN financial portal website.

Our understanding of the breakup - from a source within the joint venture - is that cooperation between Microsoft and Saxo Bank was fine, but the match between the MSN audience and trading and investments was probably wrong. MSN's clients generally come to their portal for infotainment and personal finance as opposed to looking for investor related information and trading.

The end of MSN Trader shouldn't have a material effect on either firm. The venture apparently didn't result in many new trading clients - and those clients which were developed via MSN Trader will apparently stay with Saxo Bank, as they were already on the Saxo Bank platform.

Saxo Bank (a member of LeapRate's Approved List of Forex trading firms) remains, in our view, the "king" of White Label relationships. Other White Label clients of Saxo Bank include Barclays, TD Waterhouse and Citigroup's CitiFX Pro.

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