Will WorldSpreads' client list eventually be sold?
As no buyers have emerged for WorldSpreads' assets. at least not any with serious bids, Jim Hamilton of BDO's Dublin, Ireland office was discharged as receiver and manager of WorldSpreads. Hamilton's role was to oversee the sale of any assets of value within WorldSpreads. And with no buyers, there was essentially no reason for Hamilton to remain in his role.
The main saleable assets at WorldSpreads are a) its technology platform, and b) its customer list. As we reported earlier, WorldSpreads' special administrator KPMG decided that the client list would remain confidential and would not be sold. That leaves just WorldSpreads's software platform.
While there were early (and we believe incorrect) rumours circulating early in the WorldSpreads bankruptcy process that some buyer was going to "rescue" WorldSpreads, we also reported earlier that a decision on buying an IT platform such as the one WorldSpreads employed is rarely a quick-decision type of purchase. Either an existing spreadbetting firm would have to decide that WorldSpreads' platform was better than theirs, and would be willing to make a serious investment to switch, or a company not in the business could decide to enter and use WorldSpreads' existing (and battle-tested) platform as their own. Either way, not an overnight decision.
It will be interesting to see if WorldSpreads' creditors, which at some point soon will essentially take control of the process, will continue to agree with KPMG's decision not to sell WorldSpreads' client list. Firms in the online trading industry often pay in the hundreds-of-dollars for real, actionable client "leads". That would make WorldSpreads' client list of 15,000, including (we understand) 5,000 active traders, worth anywhere between $500,000 and $2 million. It is hard to imagine that WorldSpreads' creditors would give up that potential value, unless absolutely required to do so by law.
In the meantime, this weekend KPMG sent out final statements to all (approx 15,000) WorldSpreads clients, and after settling any discrepancies with those clients will hold a WorldSpreads creditors' meeting by the end of May. Any clients which have not received their statements can contact KPMG at WorldSpreadsemail@example.com, or at the special helpline telephone number +44-20-3284-8829.
Still no word on the progress of the police investigation into the disappearing client funds, who knew what when, etc. Stay tuned...