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The Associated Press May 15, 2012, 12:07PM ET

Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group names new CEO

Investment banking company Rodman & Renshaw Capital Group Inc. said Tuesday that earned a first-quarter profit after losing money last year. The company also announced it appointed a new CEO and will change its name to reflect changes in its business. Shares of the company jumped 8 percent.

Rodman & Renshaw said Tuesday that Kevin Lupowitz, who is currently CEO of its subsidiary Direct Markets, Inc., will become CEO of the whole company Sept. 1. The company will also take the name Direct Markets Holdings Corp. The moves signal Rodman & Renshaw's growing focus on the Direct Markets segment.

Lupowitz will replace current CEO Edward Rubin, who will remain in his job until Aug. 31.

DirectMarkets is a securities trading platform that Rodman & Renshaw introduced in March. The company initially said that it would be the only investment bank to use the new platform. But now the company has opened DirectMarkets to other banks, making it "broker-neutral."

Rodman & Renshaw said its principal business now will be developing financial technology applications and operating for the DirectMarkets platform.

The company will start trading on the Nasdaq under a new ticker symbol, "MKTS" as soon as possible after the name change.

Rodman & Renshaw was in danger of being delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange as recently as March because the company's stock had traded below $1 for 30 days.

The company regained compliance in March, although its stock has dipped back below $1 and was trading for just 68 cents Tuesday.

During this year's first quarter, a sharp increase in brokerage revenue helped offset a decline in merchant banking revenue. Overall revenue fell slightly, but Rodman & Renshaw held down expenses and cut costs from last year.

The company said that during the quarter ended March 31, it earned net income of $2 million, or 5 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $186,000, or 1 cent per share, in the same period a year before.

Revenue fell 7 percent to $25.4 million from $27.3 million. But total operating expenses fell 15 percent to $23.5 million from $27.6 million.

Shares rose 5 cents to 68 cents. The stock has traded between 40 cents and $1.73 over the past year.

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