On Wednesday, the company announced that co-founder and chief executive Conor Foley, who owns about 18 per cent of the firm, was stepping down to “pursue other interests”.
According to a statement by Lindsay McNeile, executive chairman of Worldspreads, the share trading suspension announcement on 16/03/12 is unrelated to Conor Foley’s decision to step down from the company on 14/03/2012.
“We had no idea of it until this morning,” he said of yesterday’s discovery.
“Given the uncertainty as to the outcome, Worldspreads is currently unable to assess its financial position, and inform the market accordingly, and considers the suspension to be appropriate. The group expects that the suspension will remain in force until such time as Worldspreads is able to determine with sufficient clarity the group’s financial position,”
While shares have been suspended, and client accounts effectively frozen for the time being, the company is technically still operational, however the uncertainty over client funds is likely to drive traders to more financially stable spread betting providers.
The share suspension announcement came on the same day as the appointment of Roger Hynes as Interim Chief Executive of the Group.
The group press release stated:
"My Hynes helped build CMC Markets during his time there as Managing Director, Europe between 1994 and 1998. My Hynes’ appointment is for a minimum of six months and will focus on WorldSpreads' growth strategy in the UK and across its fast growing business base in Europe, South Africa, and Israel, whilst continuing to develop the firm's partnership strategy."
Lindsay McNeile, Chairman of the Group said: "We are delighted that Roger has taken this step. His reputation in our industry and his track record with CMC are outstanding. We are convinced he will set the foundations for the business to grow shareholder value and all the team here are enthused by the prospect of his focused leadership.”
In light of recent events, his first task may be considerably different than initially anticipated.