Former New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine will take the helm of futures and options brokerage MF Global Holdings Ltd., returning to the private sector after nearly a decade in government.
Effective immediately, the 63-year-old takes over from Bernard W. Dan, who has resigned as CEO for personal reasons but will remain through May 16 to help with the transition. Alison J. Carnwath is stepping down as chairman in August, after completing her three-year commitment to the company.
A former chairman of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Corzine served as state senator from 2001 to 2006 before becoming governor of New Jersey. He recently lost his bid for re-election to Republican Chris Christie and had been rumored to be a candidate to replace Ken Lewis as CEO of Bank of America Corp.
The news sent shares of MF Global up nearly 10 percent in aftermarket trading to $8.16. The company has faced a turbulent couple of years, after a 2008 scandal involving a rogue trader sent its stock plunging more than 80 percent, slashing hundreds of millions from MF's market value. CEO Kevin Davis stepped down later that year and was succeeded by Dan, a former president and CEO of the Chicago Board of Trade.
The brokerage, which in January moved its official residence to the U.S. from the tax haven of Bermuda, recently reported a fiscal third-quarter loss as revenue fell 17 percent due to lower interest rates and other economic factors. MF also shook up its U.S. equity business, expanding its derivatives, portfolio trading and electronic trading services teams and agreeing to sell its interdealer broker business.
"I see a substantial opportunity for the firm to expand its leadership position in serving clients globally in cash and derivatives markets," Corzine said in a statement. "We will continue to provide the highest level of service to our clients, create new opportunities for employees and grow shareholder value. Profitability and responsibility must go hand in hand with growing our franchise."
In taking the CEO post, Corzine also was appointed operating partner at private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co., which owns a stake in MF Global. He also plans to teach at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Princeton said Corzine would be a visiting professor in the 2010-11 academic year. His duties will include leading a lecture series on financial market regulation and teaching a graduate course on state policy.
MF Global said it expects to report fiscal fourth-quarter revenue between $235 million and $245 million, slightly below the average $261 million estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for the period ending in March. MF Global intends to release its full earnings report in mid-May.
Source: AP News