Michael Spencer

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Michael Alan Spencer (born 30 May 1955, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) is a British businessman; the founder and chief executive of NEX Group plc, a UK-based business focused on electronic markets and post trade business. NEX Group was formerly known as ICAP plc, until the sale of its voice-broking business to Tullett Prebon in December 2016. Subject of phishing emails.


Spencer was educated at the Worth Abbey Benedictine (OSB) School, Sussex and at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he studied physics.[1]


While still a student, Spencer made £30,000 dealing in shares, and then worked at Drexel Burnham. Fired from there for trading errors, he resolved to establish his own empire and Spencer founded Intercapital Private Group Limited in 1986.[2] In 1998, it was acquired by Exco plc in a reverse takeover, and the enlarged business was renamed Intercapital plc.[3] In 1999, the company merged with Garban plc to create Garban-Intercapital plc,[4] which renamed itself ICAP plc in 2001.[4]

Following the sale of its voice broking business to global banking firm Tullett Prebon in December 2016, ICAP plc was renamed NEX Group, while Tullett Prebon became TP ICAP. Spencer sold the majority of his stake in TP ICAP in January 2017. He remains CEO and the largest shareholder of Nex Group, as of February 2017.[5]

He was also the owner of spread betting firm City Index Group until 2014, when he sold the company to New Jersey financial services company GAIN Capital.[6]


Spencer served as Treasurer of the Conservative Party from 2006 to 2010.[7] He is the Chairman of the Conservative Party Foundation, a charity established to strengthen the financial future of the Conservative Party.[8]


Libor Scandal[edit]

In September 2013, Spencer issued a public apology after ICAP was fined $87m (£54m) by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Britain's Financial Conduct Authority for its part in the Libor interest rate scandal.[9] Three ICAP employees were subsequently found not guilty in January 2016 in a trial brought by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office.[10]


On 26 March 2012, Spencer was named as a donor to the Conservative Party who has had at least one private dinner with the Prime Minister David Cameron. Peter Cruddas, then Tory co-treasurer, was filmed boasting that large donations to the party could secure access to the prime minister. Property developer David Rowland, an attendee at one or more of the dinners, was identified as having donated more than £4m to the party since 2009.[11]

The Conservative Party resisted calls to return £4.6m donations ICAP and Michael Spencer made during the period of the Libor Scandal when Spencer was also Treasurer of the Party.[12]

Spencer was reportedly blocked by the Cabinet Office from receiving a peerage in former Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation honours list.[13]

ICAP share sale[edit]

In February 2010, Spencer was criticized after it emerged he made £45m from the sale of ICAP shares just weeks before the company issued a profit warning resulting in a price drop of 19.5%.[14] With demands for his resignation as treasurer, Spencer announced he would stand down as treasurer and member of the board of the Conservative Party in October 2010.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In March 2007, Spencer was named Entrepreneur of the Year at CNBC's European Business Leader Awards.[15]

In November 2007, Spencer was awarded the Beacon Fellowship Prize's Judges Special Award.[16]

In June 2010, he was named the 2010 Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur Of The Year at an awards ceremony held in Monte Carlo.[17] Spencer was picked from among the more than 50 country finalists vying for the title, each of whom had already been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in their home countries.[18]

In July 2016, Institutional Investor named Spencer #13 on their list of the world's top 50 financial technologists.[19]

Also in 2016, Spencer received the Futures & Options World lifetime achievement award.[20]


In 1993, Spencer founded the ICAP Charity Day, an annual event in which celebrities man the trading desks at ICAP and the broking firm donates the day’s profits to charities.[21] As of February 2017, the event has raised over £137 million and backed 2,200 charitable projects.[22]

Spencer is a founder of the Borana Conservation Trust, a charity which supports critically endangered species in Kenya.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Spencer has homes in Chelsea, West London and Kenya.[24]

In 2011 Spencer was made Chairman of Bordeaux Index, the online wine trading exchange in which he is an investor.[25]

Spencer is an art collector with a twentieth century and contemporary collection, including the work of Lucian Freud and Scottish artist Jack Vettriano. He is a shareholder and an associate director of Ipswich Town Football Club.[26]


  1. ^ Wachman, Richard (May 13, 2006). "Big beast of the City hooked on the buzz of the markets". theguardian.com. 
  2. ^ Wachman, Richard (May 13, 2006). "Big beast of the City hooked on the buzz of the markets". theguardian.com. 
  3. ^ Numis Corporation Board Changes
  4. ^ a b ICAP History
  5. ^ Dakers, Marion (January 10, 2017). "Michael Spencer sells most of his TP Icap shares". telegraph.co.uk. 
  6. ^ Agnew, Harriet (October 31, 2014). "Spencer sells City Index to GAIN Capital". ft.com. 
  7. ^ "The Conservative Party - People - Members of the Board - Michael Spencer". Conservative Party. 20 May 2010. Archived from the original on 20 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Spencer sells City Index to GAIN Capital". theconservativefoundation.co.uk. February 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Libor: ICAP fined $87m and three traders charged with fraud". BBC News. 
  10. ^ "Ex-brokers celebrate as sixth Libor defendant walks free". reuters.com. January 28, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2017. 
  11. ^ "David Cameron publishes list of all donors dining at No 10". BBC News. 26 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Bennett, Asa (26 September 2013). "Cameron Urged To Give Back The £4.6m From Libor Donor". Huffington Post. 
  13. ^ Hope, Christopher (22 July 2016). "David Cameron's recommendation of a peerage for Michael Spencer 'holding up resignation honours list'". telegraph.co.uk. 
  14. ^ "Tory treasurer Michael Spencer attacked over £45m share sale". Daily Telegraph. 5 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "CNBC Europe Names the Top European Business Leaders For 2007". theguardian.com. May 1, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Beacon Fellows". beaconawards.org. February 9, 2017. 
  17. ^ "ICAP founder Michael Spencer wins Ernst & Young's Global Entrepreneur of the Year award". telegraph.co.uk. June 6, 2010. 
  18. ^ "ICAP’s Michael Spencer named EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2010". ey.com. June 6, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Institutional Investor Top 50 2016". institutionalinvestor.com. July 18, 2016. 
  20. ^ "ICAP CEO to get Lifetime Achievement Award". fow.com. October 13, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Michael Spencer: Icap founder, Tory grandee and party animal looks forward to life after Tullett Prebon merger". ey.com. December 4, 2015. 
  22. ^ "An overview". icapcharityday.com. February 9, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Decade of Excellence Award: Michael Spencer, Group CEO, Icap". fnlondon.com. October 12, 2016. 
  24. ^ Duke, Simon (November 27, 2016). "Yes, I’m a bit of barrow boy, says Cameron’s broker buddy". thetimes.co.uk. 
  25. ^ Kevany, Sophie (December 7, 2011). "ICAP chief joins Bordeaux Index". decanter.com. 
  26. ^ Goodway, Nick (November 6, 2015). "Michael Spencer profile: The £700 million dealmaker close to David Cameron". standard.co.uk. 

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