PETER Cruddas, the majority shareholder in CMC Markets, was last night said to have seized the chief executive’s reins at the spread betting group after a difference of opinion with Doug Richards, who has held the job for the past couple of years.
Industry sources said Richards had relinquished the role of chief executive, although a CMC spokesperson said he remained employed by the firm.
“We can’t comment on any speculation that he is no longer chief executive,” the spokesperson said.
Richards, contacted by City A.M. said he could not discuss his situation because he was in a meeting. He asked for questions to be emailed to him, which he has not yet replied to.
CMC, along with the industry as a whole, has had a difficult trading history over the past two to three years, making just a small profit of £2.5m in the last financial year from revenues of £164m.
There were redundancies before Christmas and Goldman Sachs, which invested £140m in a 10 per cent shareholding in 2007, has written the value of its stake down to zero.
Cruddas has often referred to the likelihood of floating the firm on the stock market but there are not believed to be any imminent plans to do so.