• Transform magazine
  • November 13, 2018

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Insights: Moving markets and perceptions

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At the Transform Awards Europe 2018, the best in rebranding and brand development will be celebrated. TP ICAP is one of those shortlisted for the awards

Creating a new brand isn't something to be taken lightly. When we created TP ICAP, the opportunity came about because Tullett Prebon (one of the largest players in the interdealer broker market) was buying ICAP (another of the largest) to create the world’s biggest interdealer broker.

We were buying the voice broking side of the ICAP businesses (not the electronic trading business) and we wanted to keep the businesses separate and competing while providing a streamlined, combined support office for the whole group. TP ICAP would become the vision, values and strategy for the group and our 5,500 support staff would be part of it, but our broking businesses, with 3,425 brokers, would remain separate and competing.

The leadership team at Tullett Prebon had the vision to see that brokers remain central to the efficient operation of markets, especially those characterised by complex, illiquid (hard to shift) products. And given the size of the opportunity – to be a crucial and trusted partner of global banks and asset management houses across global boundaries – there was real value to be generated by scaling-up to meet client demand.

As the largest interdealer broker in the world, we wanted to be seen as the leader in our industry at a time when financial services businesses were coming under increased scrutiny from regulators around conduct and culture. The reputation of the voice broking industry had been damaged by historic poor conduct and the erroneous perception that voice was not compatible with technology-supported trading platforms and data. Although we needed to create a bigger, stronger and more efficient company, we also needed to position the business to ensure that it was well-equipped to challenge this perception. Our approach was to make sure that we positioned TP ICAP not just as a voice broking business, but that our brokers – supported by technology and data – would continue to play a pivotal role in the operation of dynamic, efficient markets, keeping them in motion through their role as professional intermediaries. This was a real focus throughout the creation of the TP ICAP brand.

We also wanted to position the new organisation for the future, and articulate its role in today’s society. In particular, there was a need to attract young, tech-savvy employees to the sector and to our company, and to develop a brand narrative that appealed to new and existing clients in the asset management, hedge fund and corporate markets. As a progressive business and employer at the forefront of an industry set to change, we wanted a new brand identity and design language that manifested its modern, outward-looking values. One that would galvanise our existing workforce and inspire the next generation of young minds.

Adrian Day Advisors was appointed by the Tullett Prebon leadership team to help articulate the strategic opportunity for the combined business. Handsome Brands were appointed to create and deliver the new brand. Key stakeholders for TP ICAP at launch were our employees, our clients, and investors and analysts – as this would be a FTSE 250 company listed on the London Stock Exchange. It was a complicated positioning, yet we overcame this to provide clear communications to stakeholders by involving colleagues across both sides of the business throughout the process. Giving as much time to get used to the change as possible, at a time when support staff were going to be integrating into one new combined support function. We announced the new name of the combined company when we announced the acquisition. Our communications team then made sure we were able to get as many people on board as possible, so they had a chance to get excited about the new brand, and used to the new name.

We ensured all our messaging was clear and consistent, and everything went live on day one. It was imperative our stakeholders understood the transition, and that there was no confusion. The new company listed on the stock exchange, with a new ticker, new brand, new materials, new social media, website, intranet, launch campaign and film. Since launching TP ICAP, our company now resonates with our clients and the industry, as well as our staff. Our competing brands remain in the market as number one and number two in the industry, and as TP ICAP we’ve experienced growth in our revenue and customer base.

Our brand values gave us the perfect platform to build the foundations of our corporate culture, which has been embedded consistently throughout the new business over the last year. Building a strong corporate culture doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time, determination and a lot of work from everyone across the business, but we are already leading the way.

Alexandra Wick is the group brand & marketing director at TP ICAP

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