GAIN Capital, the new online currency market maker aimed at hedge funds, mid-sized trading firms and private investors, began demo trading on 31 March and plans to begin live trading this month (May). GAIN has also made additional hires for its FX trading team, which is based in Warren, New Jersey.
Each of the four new hires has an average 15 years of FX market experience, and will report to Glenn Stevens, head of sales and trading. Timothy O’Sullivan joins the trading team from Merrill Lynch in New York, where he was a director, managing the sterling desk. O’Sullivan joined Merrill in 1994 to establish a presence in Asian exotic spot and forward currencies, and later moved onto the EMS currencies desk. In 1997, he launched the Mexican peso desk. He began his career at Standard Chartered Bank, where he ran the forward DEM books, as well as traded spot Far East and exotic currencies.
Kenneth Agostino joins with 17 years experience with FX buy- and sell-side institutions. He was most recently a senior currency trader at hedge fund managers York Trading, and prior to that, was a senior trader at Newbridge Asset Management. Previously, he was senior vice president at Banque Nationale de Paris, where he oversaw FX quoting and managed the bank’s overall position in euros.
Carl Elsammak joins from Prudential Bache Global Markets, where he was a senior currency options trader, working with institutional clients and conducted proprietary trading. Prior to Pru-Bache, he was a currency options market maker at Bank of America, responsible for both pricing and trading in a variety of currency derivatives. He also previously held trading positions at money management firms Qualitative Financial Strategies and Reynwood Trading Corp.
Stephen Reilly brings 18 years experience to GAIN. He spent the past three years with Tullett & Tokyo, where he managed a 14-person euro desk. Before that, he spent 10 years with the former Noonan Astley & Pearce, where he was a vice president of FX.
Stephen Levy has joined as head of customer service, bringing more than 17 years of related experience in customer service and brokerage operations to his role. Levy joins GAIN from online destination provider iTurf. GAIN will operate a 24-hour customer service from day one.
Mark Galant, CEO and founder of GAIN Capital, says he plans one to two more hires in each of trading and sales by the time live trading begins in May. He adds that, despite GAIN’s US location, it will operate 24-hours from launch.
“The demo period is going very well and we’re getting a lot of good feedback from customers, which is being incorporated into the system,” says Galant. “We want the rollout process to be methodical, so when we do go live, it will be with the best product possible.”
“To offer account protection that is inline with the big banks and ensure that our clients feel at ease investing with us, we now have FDIC insurance in place, as well as supplemental Fidelity insurance,” he adds.
Galant says GAIN has received commitment from several major banks to provide it with liquidity, and has similar plans for additional liquidity providers in the works.
“The infrastructure is now in place, we’re just putting the finishing touches on, to incorporate the user feedback we’ve received,” he adds.
Interested parties can sign up for a free demo account online at www.gaincapital.com. On the site, users can view GAIN’s real-time prices, and try dealing without committing actual funds.
Despite the fact that GAIN has not yet begun live trading, other online FX vendors have apparently sized them up as formidable competition. One went so far as to register themselves as www.gaincapital.net. “I don’t really think any one will be fooled,” says Galant, “But please be advised of the difference between the two, unrelated companies.”