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The London Metal Exchange is set to announce a new chief executive, as it prepares to embark on a discussion over reform of the 140-year-old exchange.

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing-owned exchange had a meeting of its board in London on Wednesday, according to people familiar with the matter.

The market favourite for the post is 35-year-old current interim chief executive Matthew Chamberlain. The search has been conducted by Sir Brian Bender, chairman of the LME.

Mr Chamberlain has spearheaded a discussion paper that is expected to go out soon that solicits opinions on a wide-ranging reform of the exchange.

Trading volumes on the LME have been falling for the past two years, putting pressure on its owner HKEx, who bought the exchange for $2.2bn in 2012. Average daily volumes on the LME fell by 4.6 per cent in the first quarter.

The discussion paper includes proposals for a standard monthly trading contract, according to people with knowledge of the document. The LME currently uses a rolling three-monthly contract, making it more difficult for electronic traders compared to exchanges in the US and China.

People with knowledge of the process say the LME conducted an extensive search for a new CEO to replace Garry Jones, who unexpectedly quit in January. It looked at both internal and external candidates. This included member firms, rival exchanges and financial institutions.

The LME has also appointed an external public relations advisers to assist with its communications. The exchange faced a firestorm of criticism from members in 2015 when it changed its fee structure. It latter backtracked and cut the fees for one of its most popular trades.

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