Matt Chamberlain was named London Metal Exchange chief executive, with a mandate from its owner the Hong Kong bourse to reform the world’s largest and oldest metals market.Chamberlain, 35, had been acting CEO since January, when a combination of falling trading volumes and a perceived lack of strategy at the 140-year-old exchange led to the resignation of Garry Jones.
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The architect of sweeping reforms to the LME’s warehousing system, Chamberlain must decide whether to change the LME’s complex trading structure. Photo: Simon Dawson The architect of sweeping reforms to the LME’s warehousing system, Chamberlain must decide whether to change the LME’s complex trading structure to open it up to more fund investors in a move that would alienate many traditional members.The LME dominates the trading of metals such as aluminium, copper and zinc, but incursions into its territory from rivals such as the Shanghai Futures Exchange and CME Group have seen its share of overall copper trading fall to nearly 60 per cent from 80 per cent in 2008.Sources say the exchange will offer a move toward monthly futures contracts in a discussion paper to be published by early next month, cutting costs for speculative investors but eroding fees for traditional brokers.”Matthew’s experience and knowledge of the LME means that he is uniquely suited to lead the business in the next stage of its evolution,” Charles Li, the head of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd , which bought the LME in 2012, said in a statement.
Chamberlain was previously the LME’s chief operating officer and head of business development. Before joining the exchange he worked at UBS, where he advised HKEx on buying the LME.He won over those who questioned his lack of experience by devising a fix to the LME’s warehousing queues that had for years plagued the exchange and provoked a series of lawsuits.”It was an excellent choice,” said Michael Overlander, chief executive of broker Sucden Financial, one of the top tier LME members allowed to trade in the exchange’s open outcry ring.”He knows the exchange very well, he knows the players…