LME’s Garry Jones steps down

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - Bloomberg

GARRY Jones stepped down as chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Lon­don Metal Ex­change (LME) af­ter three years at the helm of the world’s big­gest met­als bourse.

Jones, 58, will re­tire from his po­si­tion at the ex­change and serve as an ad­viser un­til the end of this year, ac­cord­ing to Hong Kong Ex­changes & Clear­ing, which owns the LME. The chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, Matthew Cham­ber­lain, will be­come in­terim chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Jones is the sec­ond se­nior LME ex­ec­u­tive to leave in two months, and his de­par­ture comes as the 139-year-old ex­change faces bro­ker com­plaints over higher fees and a slump in trad­ing vol­umes.

“Garry had a dif­fi­cult job to do at a dif­fi­cult time,” said Michael Over­lan­der, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Suc­den Fi­nan­cial. “He was a tough ne­go­tia­tor, but a per­fect gen­tle­man as well.”

The LME re­cently suf­fered set­backs in two ma­jor out­ages. On Jan­uary 12, elec­tronic trad­ing was de­layed by five hours dur­ing the Asian trad­ing day due to a con­nec­tiv­ity is­sue.

The next chief ex­ec­u­tive needed to tackle ris­ing volatil­ity that was prob­lem­atic for in­dus­trial hedgers us­ing the ex­change, and soothe bro­ker con­cerns over the rise of al­go­rith­mic trad­ing, said Mal­colm Free­man, a di­rec­tor at King­dom Fu­tures and bro­ker on the LME.

“The gen­eral con­sen­sus is that they’ve got to get some­one out of the in­dus­try who al­ready un­der­stands the way the LME works,” said Free­man.

While Cham­ber­lain had taken on the po­si­tion on a tem­po­rary ba­sis, he could be a suit­able per­ma­nent can­di­date, Over­lan­der said. Cham­ber­lain was pre­vi­ously head of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment at the LME.

“His time at the LME has been rel­a­tively short, but that doesn’t mean he’s in­ca­pable of pick­ing up the reins that have been handed to him on a tem­po­rary ba­sis,” he said.

LME ex­ec­u­tives re­sponded to crit­i­cism, say­ing traders are blam­ing the ex­change af­ter a tough year for the in­dus­try.

Av­er­age daily vol­umes last year were down 7.7per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

Still, Jones presided over ris­ing prof­its dur­ing his time at the LME as higher trad­ing and clear­ing fees ben­e­fited the ex­change. – Bloomberg

Garry had a dif­fi­cult job to do at a dif­fi­cult time. He was a tough ne­go­tia­tor, but a per­fect gen­tle­man as well.

FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

Lon­don Metal Ex­change’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, Garry Jones, speaks dur­ing LME Week Asia in Hong Kong. He will serve as an ad­viser to the LME un­til the end of this year.

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