The future of Knight Capital Group (NYSE: KCG) could be positioned for change, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal that indicates Knight chairman and CEO has been exploring alternative options. The discussion comes just months after a $440 million trading error sent the company reeling toward insolvency.
Citing unnamed sources, WJS reports Joyce said other companies were pursuing his leadership:
Thomas Joyce, who also is chairman of Knight’s board, had a message for fellow directors ahead of the firm’s earnings announcement last week: Other companies were interested in discussing potential job openings with him, according to people close to the talks. He has had preliminary talks regarding the CEO post at online brokerage E*Trade Financial Corp., people with knowledge of the matter said.
…Mr. Joyce’s name surfaced in the E*Trade search roughly within the past two weeks, and he agreed to speak with E*Trade representatives, though no meeting has taken place yet, according to a person close to the matter.
Knight, which is the parent of largest reverse mortgage lender by volume Urban Financial Group, maintains Joyce is not making any sudden moves.
“I’m looking forward to continuing discussions with the board and working for Knight over the next few years,” Joyce said in a statement provided to RMD.
The recent past for the company has been rocky as uncertainties arose following the trading glitch. Within a matter of a few days, the company was rescued by Wall Street partners and trading peers who loaned the company a lifeline to stay alive. Blackstone Group LP, Getco, and TD Ameritrade Holding Corp, Stifel Nicolas, Jefferies Group Inc and Stephens Inc. purchased the a 73% stake in the company, keeping the leadership in place.
But the WSJ story noted uncertainty in spite of leadership stability.
“Even if Mr. Joyce does remain with Knight, the company’s path remains uncertain. Analysts have questioned whether Knight should entertain the prospect of selling itself or finding buyers for some of its businesses, raising the prospects of Knight becoming much smaller.”
The company has previously stated its commitment to maintaining its reverse mortgage business.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker