Nymex Ex-CFO's Big Payday

Jerome Bailey walks away with $500,000 before the IPO.
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The New York Mercantile Exchange is giving its ousted CFO a $500,000 going-away present just weeks before the exchange's planned IPO.

New York Merc's parent company, Nymex, agreed to make a "one-time payment of $500,000'' to Jerome Bailey, as part of his termination agreement with the commodities exchange. The termination agreement was included in a regulatory filing submitted by Nymex on Friday.

On Wednesday, the 132-year-old commodities exchange

announced that Bailey had resigned from his just seven months after leaving Marsh & McClennan to become Nymex' chief financial officer and chief operating officer.

Bailey was hired by Nymex to help guide the exchange through its upcoming initial public offering, which sources say is tentatively scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving. But sources say Bailey did not mesh well with the clubby atmosphere at the Nymex.

As part of the termination agreement, Bailey is staying on a consultant through the end of the year. He will be paid $1,923 for each day he does work for the Nymex.

Next week the commodities and futures exchange plans to kick off a road show to talk up the merits of its initial public offering with institutional investors.

It's unusual for a top executive of a company to step down on the eve of an IPO. A high-level corporate shake-up is the kind of event that can rattle the nerves of would-be investors. But observers say the Nymex is known for having a clubby atmosphere that can be tough on outsiders.

The Nymex's unique culture is a big reason why the exchange, which specializes in trading energy futures and metals, has been slow to embrace electronic trading, even as its direct competitor -- the Atlanta-based

Intercontinental Exchange

(ICE) - Get Report

-- forges ahead with electronic trading.