Hong Kong Exchange names former NYSE Liffe executive as LME CEO

Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:29am EDT
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HONG KONG (Reuters) - The Hong Kong Stock Exchange named industry veteran Garry Jones as the CEO of the London Metal Exchange, selecting a former top executive at the NYSE Liffe to help drive its expansion into commodities and beyond.

Jones, with 30 years of experience in exchanges and financial services, but limited experience in metals, inherits a difficult role at a time when the LME is caught in a controversy over warehousing metals and its impact on consumers.

In Jones, HKEx has selected an executive with a solid grasp of soft and agricultural commodities that will help HKEx expand its franchise beyond metals, market sources said.

But it is his experience across asset classes that will enable HKEx to leverage its commodities business to grow in the much larger markets of currencies, fixed income and equities as it capitalizes on renminbi internationalization, the sources said.

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (0388.HK: Quote), as the exchange is formally known, said Jones will begin on September 30 and will be a member of the LME board in addition to his role as chief executive. Jones replaces outgoing CEO Martin Abbott.

The announcement of a candidate seen as an outsider to the metals market caught many by surprise but underlined Hong Kong Exchange's drive to move beyond metals, market sources said.

"It's not an easy job. Abbott's a very difficult act to follow. This is not just about metals, it opens up markets more broadly for them," said one senior industry source.

Several top industry executives were said to be in contention for the LME role. Reuters reported last week that Martin Pratt, chief operating officer at Triland Metals Ltd, a non-ferrous metals futures broker owned by Japan's Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T: Quote), was offered the LME CEO role.

It was not clear following the HKEx announcement on Tuesday what happened to Pratt's candidacy.   Continued...

Traders and clerks react on the floor of the London Metal Exchange in the City of London February 14, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor