The $180 Million CFO?

A big bump in MF Global's share price follows the company's naming of J. Randy McDonald as finance chief.
Stephen TaubApril 3, 2008

Talk about earning your pay from the first pay on the job. Shares of MF Global surged nearly 15 percent Thursday, one day after the brokerage named J. Randy MacDonald as its new CFO.

That works out to a better than $180 million gain in the company’s market capitalization. Niamh Alexander, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, wrote in a client note, “It is a positive that the company can attract a well-regarded CFO with industry experience such as Mr. MacDonald,” the Associated Press reported.

Late on Thursday, The Wall Street Journalreported that MF Global is pursuing several financing possibilities, including the sale of a minority stake or issuing longer-term debt. The report also said the company is not seeking an outright sale.

MacDonald was most recently chief operating officer at TD Ameritrade Holding, responsible for all operations, technology, and administration functions, including brokerage operations, project management, human resources and real estate. From 2000 to 2006, he served as the company’s CFO and treasurer. Before joining TD Ameritrade in 2000, he was CFO of Investment Technology Group, a specialized agency brokerage and technology firm.

MacDonald is replacing Ira Polk, who has been interim CFO. Polk will continue in his role as chief administrative officer.

MF Global, formerly Man Financial, is a broker of exchange-listed futures and options. It provides execution and clearing services for exchange-traded and over-the counter derivative products as well as non-derivative foreign exchange products and securities in the cash market.

MF Global ran into trouble when a rogue trader at the firm’s Memphis office lost $142 million on wheat futures trades, The Journal reported.