The Irish online spreadbetting company Worldspreads has hired Douglas Woods, a former sales trader with rival CMC Markets, to head up a new operation as the firm expands into Scotland, reports The Scotsman newspaper.

The venture, which will be based in Edinburgh, is notable because CMC pulled out of the country earlier this year after a presumably unsuccessful year of business.

Wood said Scotland is a relatively untapped market, especially since CMC no longer has a physical presence. He added that while CMC saw potential in Scotland, Goldman Sachs, which has a 10 percent stake in the CMC business, was no longer in favour of regional offices.

Woods plans to organise seminars for clients to introduce them to spread betting.

"The average client needs support to get to understand spread betting. We're not a massive brand like CMC or IG Index. We want to be able to offer a smaller, local market and personalised service," he said, advising that initially there will be only two employees in Edinburgh, although this could expand depending on the amount of business generated.

WorldSpreads was set up in Dublin in 2000 to allow investors to trade individual shares, foreign exchange, stock indices, commodities and interest rates, by phone or online. It expanded into the UK with the opening of its London office in 2005. The company is listed on the London AIM market and on the IEX market in Dublin. It was co-founded by Conor Foley, chief executive, and Brian O'Neill, chief operations officer, who built their careers in financial services in Ireland.

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