After Ten Years, IT Wizard Mike Lear Leaves City Index

Lear joined the broker in 2009 and helped to rebuild it after a rocky period that almost saw it close

Finance Magnates learned on Friday that Mike Lear has left retail broker City Index. Lear spent approximately a decade at the firm, which was acquired by GAIN Capital in 2014.

According to an interview he gave to Computing magazine in the same year as that acquisition, he joined City Index in 2009 as the head architect.

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Working on the company’s IT infrastructure, he was responsible for both improving and stabilizing the broker’s online offering.

At the time, that included working on the City Index mobile application. The London-based broker was, according to an Evening Standard report, the first company in the retail trading industry to launch a mobile application.

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Leading the renewal

Companies House files show that Lear was eventually made chief information officer (CIO) of City Index Group in 2012. That was at the same time that Martin Belsham was working as the broker’s chief executive officer.

Even prior to his appointment as CIO, Lear had been part of a massive overhaul at City Index that began with Belsham’s appointment in 2009.

The broker was in a huge amount of debt and businessman Michael Spencer, the owner of City Index prior to the Gain Capital acquisition, had to inject approximately £70 million into the firm to ensure it stayed afloat.

In an interview with the Evening Standard from 2012, Belsham refers to Lear as ‘Q’ – the name given to the man behind all of James Bond’s gadgets in the spy film series.

Though probably said in jest, it hints at the role – which at one point included managing a team of 100 people – that Lear played in revitalizing City Index after a troublesome period for the broker.

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