Published On: Fri, May 20th, 2011

Meyer Leaves Chi-X Japan for HKEx

Joseph Meyer, former head of Chi-X Japan, has now left his post at the helm of the local subsidiary of leading alternative trading venue operator Chi-X Global Inc. To join Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), as its Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

Chi-X Japan has been quick to designate Meyer’s successor, who takes up all his former titles and responsibilities. “Yasuo Hamakake has replaced Joe as Representative Director and COO,” Chi-X Japan informed “Hamakake has been with Chi-X Japan since launch as CTO.”

Meyer leaves Chi-X Japan as the venue announces the completion of the rollout of the remaining TOPIX stocks not already covered by its platform, as well as the full range of TSE-listed ETFs. Chi-X Japan reports a steady incremental rise in its trading, from 1.16% of the total TSE auction market in February 2011 to 1.62% in April, or JPY363 billion ($4.44 billion) in turnover. And the platform cited a record trading day on May 18th 2011, when it accounted for 3.2% of the Nikkei 225 market share.

Meyer’s departure also comes at a when Chi-X is expanding across Asia. In Australia, the group was recently given the regulatory green light to open Chi-X Australia as a lit venue operating in open competition with the ASX after more than 2 years, and Chi-east a broker to broker alternative based in Singapore began operating last November. This is quite a contrast to Meyer’s new berth Hong Kong, which is still essentially an HKEx monopoly.

Other notable departures from Chi-X in Asia as they face competition and regulation was Ron Gould chief executive officer for Chi-X Asia Pacific who left October 15, 2010 and John Lowrey CEO of Chi-X Global was removed from his post September of last year as well.

Haines pointed out that Japan has been a particularly favourable market for Chi-X Japan, quite apart from its genesis as a subsidiary of electronic trading pioneer Instinet Incorporated, itself a subsidiary of Nomura Holdings, Inc. “We are committed to bringing new participants to Japan and pleased with the early adoption from market participants.” she said.

Besides the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and Osaka Stock Exchange (OSE), Chi-X Japan faces competition from SBI Japannext (JNX) as it and are the only other JSCC-eligible Proprietary Trading Systems (PTS) in Japan. JNX has been operating in Japan for a number of years and trades almost 31 millions shares per day with an average notional of more than 17Billion yen.

Meyer’s role in Hong Kong will at least be a senior and significant one. The CAO post has been created by HKEx to oversee its major projects, as well as its Administration Department and Human Resources Department, according to the exchange. The CAO will be a member of the Senior Management Committee and report directly to the Chief Executive.

Projects in this context clearly means trading infrastructure and technology, where HKEx has been prosecuting a number of initiatives to upgrade its systems, partly in response to the rising international pressure for clearance transparency and oversight in trading of OTC derivatives, and as it establishes a new data centre in Tseung Kwan O, including hosting services for low latency, as part of its Strategic Plan 2010-2012. With HKEx evidently seeing the need to keep its systems up to par in the face of competition from mainland bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as to deal with the launch of its RMB-denominated offshore market, Meyer’s 30 years of financial markets experience was clearly a strong draw. Both Chi-X Japan and SBI Japannext, meanwhile, now intermittently enjoy a greater share of Japan trading than the local JASDAQ alternative board, according to reports.

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