Mayank Patel: Currencies Direct
Company: Currencies Direct
Patel and a now-departed partner launched Currencies Direct in 1996 with £9,000 pooled together to sign a lease on a tiny office in Paddington. Last year it turned over £400m. Simple mathematics show that the near 50 person company, which provides finance by phone for major transactions overseas, such as properties, business and migration is one of the UK’s fastest growing companies. And Patel has already wrapped up the BT entrepreneur of the year award.
In 2015, Patel sold Currencies Direct for a reported £200m to pan-European growth investor Palamon Capital Partners and private equity investor Corsair capital. Patel – who was awarded an OBE for services to financial services and entrepreneurship – became honorary president as a result of the deal. Today, Currencies Direct serves more than 150,000 retail clients and is thought to be one of the largest non-bank foreign exchange and international payments group in the UK, with operations across Europe, India, Australia, the US and South Africa.