Gain Capital CFO Henry Lyons resigns to join….

Gain Capital ( announced the resignation of CFO Henry Lyons. Lyons resigned to join American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX), an Internet-based precious metals retailer.

Daryl Carlough, Gain’s Chief Accounting Officer and Controller, was named interim CFO until a replacement is found for Lyons.

Our read on the situation is fairly simple – he just found an opportunity with more potential upside, given Wall Street’s less-than-warm reception it has given to Gain (as well as to its rival FXCM).

Henry Lyons was hired by Gain Capital (in 2008) as part of the company’s preparations to go public – which Gain first attempted (unsuccessfully) to do in late 2009, before succeeding in late 2010. Lyons had previosuly worked as CFO of ACI Worldwide (Nasdaq ACIW), as well as in senior finance positions at GE Healthcare and WR Grace. When a company is planning an IPO, one of the typical things it does is hire a CFO with public company experience – both to bring necessary skills and experience in a public company environment, as well as to increase credibility for the trying-to-become-public company with the investing public and with Wall Street.

One would have to assume that Lyons saw the opportunity at Gain (back in 2008) to be one where he could get in on the ground floor of an IPO-ready company, and enjoy the ride upward. But Gain has not exactly been a Wall Street darling, with its share price down about 25% from its IPO (rival FXCM has done even worse, down about 33%) and – possibly just as bad – low liquidity in its stock, with just over 100,000 shares trading daily. Seems like Lyons may have found another opportunity to join a company thinking about an IPO, but with more potential upside. (To be honest, we have a much different read on both Gain Capital and FXCM’s performance than does Wall Street. We believe that both have done a very good job of growing their businesses internationally amid a shrinking domestic US Forex market, and as such have put themselves in position to continue to grow and lead the industry globally in the years ahead).

There could obviously be other factors involved – relationships at work and with other members of senior management, personal issues, lifestyle, etc. As a wise man once said, one never knows for sure what goes on behind closed doors.

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