It is exactly four years since we packed up our bags and embarked on a journey to take Hedgebook from a regional success in New Zealand and Australia to fame and fortune in the United Kingdom. Hedgebook CEO, Richard Eaddy, left for London in February 2017. Now, four years later, having battled Brexit and Covid, Hedgebook has established itself as a major player in the treasury solutions space. We have a diverse customer base of banks, currency brokers, auditors and our direct corporate clients. Not just in the UK – but Europe, the US and beyond.
Hedgebook’s UK calling
So it is interesting to reflect on why we felt Hedgebook would be relevant to the UK market. Although it definitely ticked the ‘English speaking’ box, the UK was still quite foreign to us and about to go through a transformational change with the introduction of Brexit. Not to mention the unforeseen arrival of a pandemic. As we reflected at the time, the Brexit induced currency volatility, meant UK based importers and exporters had their own challenges when managing foreign currency cashflows. However, the approach to FX management is fortunately largely the same, globally.
Foreign currency cashflows (known or forecast) are identified and quantified, then hedging contracts such as forwards and options are entered to mitigate the impact of current fluctuations on P&L. Equally, banks and currency brokers are searching for ways to be more effective with their customers, who in turn are seeking digital solutions to make their lives easier.
UK Office at The Rise
The UK, therefore, was a natural market for the Hedgebook software and we proudly opened a UK office in London, at Barclay’s The Rise in Shoreditch. As Hedgebook’s London based Head of Commercial, Nathan Cox, puts it:
“We love being part of the team at The Rise – we really do feel at home. It certainly helps that the UK operates under the same IFRS accounting regime as New Zealand and Australia. Plus UK importers and exporters have an equally volatile foreign exchange landscape to navigate as those companies based in Australasia.
Hedgebook is fit for purpose here in the UK and there are literally tens of thousands of companies in the medium enterprise space that can benefit from Hedgebook’s easy-to-use software. My goal is to introduce Hedgebook to these companies so they can manage this significant risk to their businesses and make better hedging decisions.”
And in a relatively short space of time Hedgebook has established itself in the UK’s treasury solutions market. It now counts the majority of the UK’s Tier Two audit firms amongst its customers, plus some notable corporates, brokers and accounting firms – including Menzies. As we have the luxury of an New Zealand based R&D team that has been largely unaffected by Covid 19 and some great new product functionality on the way – our UK team is starting 2021 with some optimism – though we are always careful to hedge our bets.