Benjamin Chesier, vice president of new product development at the New York Mercantile Exchange, resigned today from the board of troubled electronic broker Optionable, which specializes in natural gas futures. Nymex took a 19% stake in Optionable on April 10, with a warrant to increase ownership to 40%, which gave the exchange one out of five seats on Optionables board, confirmed Keil Decker, Nymex spokesman for investor relations.
We are concerned about the recently announced developments at Optionable and are actively reviewing the situation, according to a statement from the energy exchange.
On May 8, officials of BMO Financial Group, Optionables largest customer, said in a statement the firm was suspending all of its business relationships with the brokerage firm, as well as all derivatives trading through that firm. Two senior BMO executives in the trading area have been put on leave while the bank conducts a review of their operations.
Optionable CEO Kevin Cassidy resigned Saturday, and the broker announced in a statement that Chairman Albert Helmig is taking over day-to-day management effective today. Representatives of the broker did not return calls.
Separately, two law firms have filed class-action suits against Optionable for alleged securities law violations.