Key Data

travelex logoCompany Name: Travelex
Established: 1976
Ownership: UAE Businessman B.R Shetty
Status: Private But May Become Public
Services : Online Money Transfer, Regular Transfers, Telephone Money Transfer, Corporate FX, Travel Money, Prepaid Cards (Sold to Mastercard) – To Learn More View Money Transfer Service Guide


Reliability Level: High

One of the first foreign exchange dealers in the UK (since 1976). A company that was acquired for a sum of £1bn, just after selling its prepaid credit business to Moneycorp for £300m. Employees over 6,500. Largest of its kind. 


Fees: £5 Below £2,500 | Anticipated Spreads: 0.5-1.5%

Kings Place 90 York Way London N1 9AG
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Travelex is one of the oldest foreign exchange firms in the UK, and has a long and mostly successful history as the largest independent foreign exchange business. They have a wide reach around the globe, with transfers available to and from most countries. They have a relatively low minimum transfer of £300, and low fees as well.

Background

Travelex was founded in London 1976 by Lloyd Dorfman. It expanded quickly, opening further offices in and around London, and eventually spreading into Europe and around the globe.

In 2000, Travelex acquired Thomas Cook’s financial services division for £440 million, significantly expanding its international operations.

In 2005, Apax Partners bought a majority stake in the company at a valuation of £1 billion, leaving Dorfman with a 30% ownership and a continued role in running the business. Apax Partners remained majority owners until 2014, when they sold 51% of the company to UAE businessman B.R. Shetty in a £1 billion deal.

In 2010, in an effort to reduce losses due to interest payments, Travelex sold its card programme management division to Mastercard for £290 million.

Money Transfer Services

Travelex has a highly rated money transfer division. They offer transfers to and from all countries except certain Middle Eastern and African countries, as well as Belarus and Cuba. Their straightforward services allow you to transfer money at mid-market rates, making it easy to send money to relatives, purchase property abroad, or pay bills.

Travelex offers customers zero fees on their first transaction. Fees on further transactions under £2 500 are charged at the equivalent of £7, while any transfers higher than £2 500 are free.

Customers are promised the best exchange rates on the market. If you find better prices elsewhere, they will adjust their price to match or beat it. This, in addition to their 24/7 support, makes Travelex an attractive and popular option.

The management team

Anthony Wagerman has been CEO of Travelex since February 2015, and has held other positions there since 2000. Senior positions included head of Group Marketing & Communications with responsibility for corporate communications, media relations, advertising and brand identity as well as Travelex’s sponsorship properties, becoming Managing Director for the Retail Division in 2006, and Managing Director for Currency Services in 2010. In 2011, he became MD for Europe and the Americas, before becoming Deputy CEO in 2013.

Michael Ball is the current Chief Financial Officer of Travelex. He has held this position since 2011. He is also the Executive sponsor for Travelex’s Global HR function and key people initiatives. He was previously CFO at McCarthy & Stone Group, and before that held senior finance positions at Esporta Group (CFO), and Filofax Group (Group Finance Director).

Daryl Norman has served as Compliance and Risk Director since late 2011. A Chartered Accountant, he held several high profile positions at various firms. He served in Risk, Compliance and Operations roles at Barclays, including Head of Operational Risk for UK Retail Banking where he led the implementation of Basel II Advanced status and Head of Risk Operations where he led a major six-sigma process reengineering project.

Performance reports

Size and reach

Travelex is the largest independent foreign exchange business, with 1 500 stores across the world, as well as extensive online reach. They do business in over 50 countries, and take care of foreign currency services for partners including banks, supermarkets and travel agencies, in over 100 countries and 20,000 locations.

Travelex employs over 6 500 individuals worldwide.

Financial reports

Financial reports for the 3 months ending 30 September 2015, showed Core Group Revenue increasing by 2% to £558.5 million. Revenue growth on online and mobile platforms stood at 16%, with 4% growth across all channels. Full year results are expected to be in line with expectations.

Public stock performance

Travelex is not a publicly listed company, but there may be plans to list in Abu Dhabi by 2017.

2010 Debt crisis

Interest payments in 2010 plunged Travelex into £1.5bn debt which halted the company’s intention to list on the LSE. This debt included £830 million of payment in kind (PIK) notes, which use goods or services in place of cash. PIK notes are notorious for carrying high rates of interest, and are now viewed with suspicion by many businesses – a fact that put fund managers off backing Travelex.

They ultimately managed to repay debts by selling divisions to Mastercard and Western Union.

Licensing

Travelex is authorised and regulated by the FCA and HMRC in the UK, and by the relevant regulatory bodies in locations around the world.

Reputation

Travelex is (one of) the largest foreign exchange business in the world, and has a high reputation among the . They have an 8.8/10 rating on reviews site Trustpilot, and are used by 37 million customers every year.

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