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Our Story

It all started back in 2004... and we've come a long way. Great rates, spectacular service and fast and easy transfers was our mantra.
Take a peek at our journey so far.

  • April 2004

    A photo of Jonathan and Nick in the early days

    World First is born in the basement of a house in Stockwell, with Jonathan Quin and Nick Robinson, former Citibank folks, at the helm.

  • April 2004

    Booked our first trade, and made a loss.

  • Aug 2004

    A photo of Jabu, our COO

    Hired first employee: Jabu Henson, now MD of Singapore and Hong Kong offices.

  • April 2005

    Booked £43million in our first year.

  • October 2005

    Hit our first £100 million in transactions.

  • Dec 2005

    Up to eight employees by the end of the year. Seven still here.

  • Jan 2006

    Outgrew our basement and moved to Crombie Mews in Battersea. Enjoyed meetings on the lovely roof terrace.

  • March 2006

    A photo of Alex

    Launched our Corporate Desk with Alex Sullivan at the helm. Alex also still here.

  • Sept 2006

    A photo of Sir David Clementi

    Sir David Clementi, former Deputy Head of the Bank of England, joined our team as our Senior Advisor.

  • November 2006

    A photo of Elisabeth, our Head of Private Clients

    Elisabeth Dobson arrived to head up the Private Client Desk. Elisabeth is also still here.

  • Dec 2006

    Started our annual tradition of hosting a team competition at our legendary Christmas parties. This year‘s theme was “Strictly Come Dancing” with lots of tutus, Riverdancing and all around craziness ensuing. Winning video can be seen here.

  • Jan 2007

    Started 2007 with 22 employees. By the end of the year, we finished with 40.

  • Nov 2007

    Expanded our office, splitting the seams of Crombie Mews. Transactions hit £1billion. Champagne popped.

  • Dec 2007

    This year‘s Christmas challenge: “The YuleTube” challenge. The winners did an Eric Prydz spoof, but the video isn't really suitable for public viewing!

  • April 2008

    FSA authorisation approved – we are now the first foreign exchange broker in the UK able to sell currency options.

  • Dec 2008

    Our view of the river

    Officially grew out of Crombie Mews with 60 employees – upped sticks to our lovely new home overlooking the river Thames in Battersea.

  • Dec 2008

    The stunning Sydney Opera House

    Australian office launched. Nick Robinson took a long, long flight to Australia to replicate the business model down under. G‘day!

  • Dec 2008

    Christmas Challenge: “FX Factor”. Marc Bertrand‘s team wowed the crowds with his FX version of American Pie. Download and listen to the MP3 here.

  • January 2009

    We hit £2billion in transactions. We opened some more champagne.

  • January 2009

    First automated SWIFT payment made this month, greatly increasing the speed of our transactions.

  • April 2009

    We are very proud to be awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise.

  • Oct 2009

    The team dressed in pink

    World Firsters turned up decked out in pink for Breast Cancer. One of our many charity days.

  • November 2009

    Became an FSA Authorised Payments Institution under the Payments Services Regulations.

  • November 2009

    Our first emergence on the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track – position 53.

  • December 2009

    This year‘s Christmas Challenge: “Dragon‘s Den meets the Apprentice”. Watch the winning idea here – why this never took off as a real business will always be a mystery.

  • Jan 2010

    Awarded our first star for Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For.

  • Jan 2010

    Launched our industry-leading platform World First Online. Now, over half of our transactions go through this fantastic system.

  • March 2010

    World Firsters like to dress up

    Another charitable event, this time for Sports Relief. World Firsters like to dress up, if you haven‘t noticed.

  • April 2010

    Awarded the Service Business of the Year via the Fast Growth Business Awards.

  • July 2010

    A photo finish for the sack race

    Summer Sports Day in Battersea Park, along with slightly competitive potato sack race with a photo finish.

  • October 2010

    Finalist in the National Business Awards Customer Focus.

  • October 2010

    Private client survey: 98% of our private clients said they would use us again and recommend us to friends. Thanks guys.

  • Nov 2010

    World First‘s new look was launched.

  • Nov 2010

    Our second year in a row on the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track – this time at position 65.

  • Dec 2010

    Santa getting involved

    This year Christmas Challenge: “YouSpoof” - the winning team wowed us with a unique ‘World First‘ take on Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind".

  • Jan 2011

    Awarded our second star for Sunday Times Best companies to work for. Proud days.

  • April 2011

    Hit £5billion in transactions, right around our seventh birthday and Sir David Clementi becomes our Chairman.

  • July 2011

    Corporate client survey: 100% of our clients said they would use us again and recommend us to friends. A very proud moment for us.

  • Nov 2011

    Third year in a row appearance on the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track, this time at position 81 – a rare but very gratifying achievement.

  • Dec 2011

    Paper hats courtesy of the crackers

    Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Challenge. Some very questionable talent strut their stuff.

  • Jan 2012

    Ended our eighth financial year with revenues of just under £15million. A big leap from our humble beginnings in April 2004. We look forward to future growth and more good times in our future.

  • June 2012

    Simon and Emily's wedding

    The 1st World First wedding! Emily and Simon met at World First in 2008 and it was love at first sight.

  • August 2012

    Shortlisted for the National Business Awards Customer Focus Award.

  • Sept 2012

    The Launch of World First USA, Inc.

    John Green and John Min launch World First USA, Inc. in Washington DC!.

  • November 2012

    NBA logo

    Announced winners of the National Business Awards Customer Focus Award!

  • November 2012


    Teamed up with Childreach International to help build a school in Tanzania

  • February 2013

    Finished the year making over 120,000 payments

  • May 2013

    Australian team moved to a new, larger office

  • September 2013


    World_First reached 9,000 followers on Twitter

  • October 2013

    We opened our Singapore office and Jabu is the MD.

  • October 2013

    Customer Experience Award

    Won the UK Customer Experience Award

  • December 2013

    Over 200 employees around the world!

  • December 2013

    This year's Christmas challenge: #YuleTube - create a 15 second InstaVid

  • April 2014

    Our 10th Anniversary! 10 years have flown by and we now have over 250 employees globally.

  • May 2014

    We won the 'customer focus' category in the final of the European Business Awards. The ceremony was held in Athens.