First Derivatives founder nets €47m from shares sale

CEO Brian Conlon sells 1.4m shares in Newry-based fintech company

The chief executive of Newry-based First Derivatives, who set up the business in his mother’s spare bedroom, has netted an estimated £42.8 million (€47 million) from selling 1.4 million of his company’s shares.

Brian Conlon, chief executive of AIM-listed First Derivatives, has sold 1.4 million shares – around 5.7 per cent of the group's issued share capital – at a price of 3,060 pence per share.

Mr Conlon set up First Derivatives, which provides software and consulting services to some of the world’s largest financial, hi-tech organisations and energy institutions, in 1996.

The company, which floated in 2002, trades on both the London Stock Exchange and the Irish Stock Exchange.


Mr Conlon, a former celebrated Down GAA player, will still hold 24.5 per cent of First Derivatives issued share capital following the sale of his 1.4 million stake to “certain existing and new institutional investors,” according to the company.

First Derivatives said the share placing had been conduced by an accelerated bookbuild through Goodbody Stockbrokers and Investec Bank.

Mr Conlon has agreed with both organisations not to sell his remaining shares for a period of six months.

Two months ago the Newry group announced that Mr Conlon had been diagnosed with cancer but said he would remain as chief executive of the group during ongoing treatment, which would include chemotherapy.

Earlier this week First Derivatives said the “diagnosis and treatment of Mr Conlon remains unchanged” and that he would continue in his role “during his ongoing weekly treatment, which is expected to last a number of months”.

The Newry group also said current trading conditions and the outlook for the group “remain unchanged” since its last trading update in May.

Mr Conlon was not the only First Derivatives shareholder to offload stock this week, Virginia Gambale, a non-executive director, who is managing partner of Azimuth Partners, also sold 7,163 shares at a price of 3,060 pence per share.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business