Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: IBKR) has established an entity called ‘Interactive Brokers Central Europe Zrt., (IBCE)’ in Hungary as it continues to grow its international business.
With the addition of its last branch, the Connecticut-based discount brokerage firm now has a physical presence in ten entities globally. The list includes Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Singapore and the UK, serving more than one million client accounts in over 220 countries.
The opening of the Budapest office coincides with a growing demand in the Central European region, the company said. More than 25% of Interactive Brokers accounts come from Europe and Africa, with over 80% of new clients coming from outside the United States.
Interactive Brokers was founded in 1977 by Thomas Peterffy, a Hungarian-born American billionaire businessman. Born in Budapest in 1944, Peterffy comes back to his homeland nearly 55 years after he emigrated to the United States to escape communism.
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“Establishing an office in Hungary is part of our continuing trend of opening entities around the world to support our growing global presence,” said Thomas Peterffy, Chairman of Interactive Brokers.
“We plan to make Budapest the center of our operations for Central Europe to keep pace with account growth, which has been rapid in both Western and Eastern Europe and around the world. We look forward to spreading knowledge and understanding of capital markets among our future clients all across Central Europe,” added Peterffy.
While IBKR may be looking to grow its business outside of the US, the company has recently agreed to purchase a self-directed retail brokerage segment from online custodian Folio Investing in a push to expand its reach to Main Street investors.
Interactive Brokers’ latest takeover comes amid a swirl of M&A within the industry. Speculation surrounding a possible deal started earlier this year when IBKR Founder, Thomas Peterffy said his company had considered buying E-trade but decided to pass because it was a risky bet.