IG Group execs exercise options and sell shares, pocketing £3.0M ($5.1M)

A number of senior executives within the board of directors of British electronic trading company IG Group (IGG:L) have exercised their options under the company’s Long Term Bonus Plan.

According to a publication by the London Stock Exchange, upon which the company’s shares are floated, IG Group received exercise notices from the Directors on August 5, 2014, exercising their nil‑cost options under the FY13 cash bonus, and from IG Group CEO Tim Howkins exercising his nil cost options under the FY12 cash bonus.

As in previous years, the company has elected to cash settle all options, subject to tax and National Insurance and according to a formula set down in the Plan. Therefore, the exercise of these options does not result in a change to the Directors’ overall interest in the Company’s Ordinary Shares.

In this particular filing, three of IG Group’s directors have exercised nil cost options, with Mr. Howkins letting go of 147,938 shares via cash settlement, Chief Operating Officer Peter Hetherington having relinquished 25,340 shares via cash settlement, and Chief Financial Officer Christopher Hill offloading 22,783 shares via cash settlement.

Collectively, by exercising their options, these three directors have gained £3.0 million, which equates to approximately $5.1 million, with £1.8 million going to Mr. Howkins.

In addition to cash settlement, Mssrs. Howkins, Hill and Hetherington have also exercised nil cost options in order to acquire shares under the company’s Value Sharing Plan, following the award made in 2010 which vested in 2013.

Under this system, Mr. Howkins acquired 14,298 ordinary shares following the award made in 2011, which vests this year, whilst Mr. Hill and Mr. Hetherington each acquired 8,579 in ordinary shares via the same principle.

Additionally, the company’s Chief Information Officer Jon Noble exercised nil cost options to acquire 4,114 ordinary shares under the Value Sharing Plan, following the award made in 2011, vesting this year, and Head of Legal & Compliance / Company Secretary Bridget Messer acquired 2,743 ordinary shares on the same basis.

On August 5, as a result of a shareholders’ resolution at the Company’s AGM on October 17, 2013 approving the Sustained Performance Plan (“SPP”), the Company made awards of par-cost options to acquire Ordinary Shares to the Directors and PDMRs relating to the performance period June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014. The share price used to determine the number of options awarded is 609.9 pence, which is based on the average of the closing prices of the previous 10 days as is required by the rules of the SPP. Details of the performance criteria used will be disclosed in the Company’s FY14 Annual Report, due to be published on www.iggroup.com on September 16, 2014.

In accordance with the rules of the SPP, 40% of the options awarded to the Directors under Year 1 of the SPP vest immediately upon grant. Vested but unexercised awards do not accrue dividend equivalent entitlements. On August 5, 2014, the Company received exercise notices from the Directors exercising all vested options under the SPP.

In terms of additional options going forward, the directors are in line for further options, a proportion of which Mssrs. Hill, Hetherington and Howkins have elected to convert into ordinary shares.

As of this is that as of August 5 this year, Mr. Howkins will receive an award of par-cost options to acquire 204,290 ordinary shares, and will exercise 81,716 par-cost options to acquire the same number of ordinary shares.

Mr. Hill will receive an award of par-cost options to acquire 142,980 ordinary shares, and will exercise 57,192 par-cost options to acquire the same number of ordinary shares and Mr. Hetherington will receive an award of par-cost options to acquire 153,273 ordinary shares and will exercise 61,309 in par-cost options to acquire the same number of ordinary shares.

The recent acquisition of a 10% interest in IG Group by US fund management company Mass Financial resulted in a 0.25% drop in shares immediately after the announcement by London Stock Exchange.


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IG Group execs exercise options and sell shares, pocketing £3.0M ($5.1M)


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