The founder and former CEO of Fastmatch, Dmitri Galinov has filed a lawsuit against his former company and Euronext. The move comes a touch over a year after the eFX trading venue was acquired by the Amsterdam-headquartered global exchange giant. The deal was announced back in May 2017.
As part of the $153 million acquisition agreement, the management of Fastmatch was entitled to an addition allotment of $10 million. The payment was contingent on the management of the firm reaching certain goals. In June 2018, Galinov was dismissed as CEO of Fastmatch and is now alleging that Euronext acted as part of a “money-grab”.
In the lawsuit, Dmitri Galinov states that a “Machiavellian scheme” was orchestrated by Euronext and he has been fired “improperly, unceremoniously, and under false pretense”. The move is said to have resulted in the company denying to pay the founder and ex-CEO of Fastmatch “millions of dollars”.
Commenting to Finance Magnates, a spokesperson for Euronext stated: “The Company has not directly been made aware of the mentioned US lawsuit in NY and cannot make any comment without knowing its alleged content.”
“All employees of the Euronext family, including senior management, are expected to adhere to a high standard of professional conduct, consistent with the Company’s code of ethics. We are confident the facts and the law are on our side,” the leading stock exchange opertor’s statement elaborated.
Whistleblowing on Euronext Execs
On his part, Galinov claims that his dismissal was executed as a retaliation for him reporting some serious misconduct on part of senior Euronext management. During the tenure of Galinov the revenues realised by Fastmatch met or exceeded the targets set out by Euronext.
According to the complaint filed in the District Court of Southern District of New York, Mr. Galinov’s firing was “demonstrably retaliatory and based on false rationale”. The founder of the eFX trading venue says that he had exposed several instances of serious misconduct and experienced significant harassment.
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A Question of $13 million
According to the “just cause” employed by Euronext for the termination of Dmitri Galinov, his 1.4 million shares are to be purchased by Euronext for $1,437.58. This contrasts to the “termination without cause” clause which would entitle the founder and ex-CEO of Fastmatch to about $13 million.
Galinov states to having reported to Euronext a case of “suspected serious financial and ethical misconduct by senior Euronext executives”. In what he alleges was a suspicious transaction, the founder of Fastmatch states that he got pressured to purchase software that was nearly 10 times more expensive than what was needed.
Galinov suspected that the Euronext executive was set to realise gains from the transaction and reported it to the company’s compliance department. The majority owner of Fastmatch claims to have investigated the matter and dismissed Mr. Galinov’s claims.
Sexually Charged Comments
In the lawsuit, Galinov also asserts that back in February, a senior Euronext executive made “highly offensive, sexually charged comments”. After a complaint to the human resources department, his case was never followed up on.
In the aftermath of both incidents, Galinov states that Euronext began taking “retaliatory action” against him. After he was provided with a negative annual review, he got dismissed in the beginning of June. The founder and former CEO of Fastmatch, states that the document was filled with “false criticisms” and the performance ratings have not been in line with his conduct.
Galinov is widely respected in the electronic trading industry. Before establishing Fastmatch he was a senior executive at Credit Suisse, where he headed the development of the Crossfinder dark pool.
His career also includes roles as Director of Strategy at Direct Edge. Galinov was also global Head of Buy Side DMA for Lava Trading. He serves on the board of FICC Markets Standards with the goal of developing industry standards for FICC markets.