From the July 01, 2009 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

PFGBEST buys Alaron

There was a shake-up in the trading world on May 21 when futures commission merchant PFGBEST purchased the customer assets of trading services provider Alaron. Alaron will be formed into ATD, a division of PFGBEST. The business was transferred and the deal completed on June 8. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re excited about the research group that we’re bringing on. That was one thing that Alaron did very, very well that we hadn’t done. [That] opens us up to do cash metals and [provides] research on the petroleum markets, meats, softs and grains,” says PFGBEST President and COO Russ Wasendorf, Jr.

Wasendorf adds that PFG hopes to expand its business through more acquisitions. “We’re a product-driven business, so we want firms that have a very solid product that we can sell and distribute to our customer base. We’ve focused on trying to find products that create sustainable investing for customers – products that are more like managed futures products, systems products, things that give an investor the opportunity to trade as an investment rather than speculate on a short-term basis.”

Penson GHCO previously cleared Alaron’s trades, but PFGBEST is now the clearing broker for Alaron, according to Wasendorf.

However, Chris Hehmeyer, CEO of Penson GHCO, says that some of the former Alaron accounts have elected not to move to PFG. “Some of those accounts are going to move to PFG, a lot of the retail stuff, and some of them are going to stay [at Penson].” Penson will continue to clear the accounts that have elected to stay there, he says. Although PFG ultimately acquired Alaron, Hehmeyer says Penson did have “discussions in a variety of forms of [Alaron]referring the business to us.”

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