Gain Capital Hires Ex-Knight Executive Wald for ECN Business

Joseph Wald, an executive who left Knight Capital Group Inc. in September, was hired by Gain Capital Holdings Inc., a provider of retail foreign exchange trading services, to expand the company’s services to banks and fund managers.

Wald will oversee GTX, Gain Capital’s electronic communications network, or ECN, and related technology used by hedge funds and institutions for currency trading, according to a statement e-mailed by the company. He will report to Glenn Stevens, chief executive officer of the Bedminster, New Jersey-based company, and will work from the New York office.

The company plans to build its institutional business as funds, banks and high-frequency traders demand new services from competing venues to trade foreign-currency products, Wald said in a phone interview. The development of currency trading platforms and greater interest in the analysis of transaction costs will mirror some of the changes that have taken place in equities over the last 20 years, he said.

“There are definitely plans to drive innovation in the FX space,” Wald said. “Technology is a core differentiator. We’re looking to grow volumes, grow the client base. It’s all about scale and building out the platform.”

While Gain Capital’s institutional business has grown in recent years, its market share remains small, said Wald, who was named an executive vice president at the company. His experience in the equities market will help the company expand its electronic business for institutions, he said.

Career History

Wald was head of Knight Direct, the Jersey City, New Jersey-based financial company’s unit that provided algorithms or electronic trading strategies to institutional investors seeking to buy or sell shares. Earlier he was co-founder and chief executive officer of algorithm-provider EdgeTrade Inc., which Knight bought in 2008 for about $58 million, according to a regulatory filing.

“Institutional trading is an important part of our growth strategy,” Stevens said a press release today. “Having Joe lead this part of the business will help us build on the success we’ve had to date, and achieve our goal of becoming a market-leading ECN in the FX space.”

Gain Capital said last month it was acquiring the U.S. individual accounts of GFT Forex, which was closing its American retail foreign-exchange business. It bought Deutsche Bank AG’s retail currency trading business in 2011.

Shares of Gain Capital rose 4 cents to $4.23 at 2:03 p.m. in New York. The stock has risen 3.4 percent this year.