Chi-X Europe announces second departure

Chi-X Europe, a pan-European equities exchange, has announced the departure of chief financial officer Kevin O’Keefe. Last week, Chi-X announced the departure of chief executive Alasdair Haynes.

The departures follow the agreement by Chi-X to be taken over by US rival BATS Global Markets. BATS’ European chief Mark Hemsley will run the combined operation, to be known as BATS Chi-X Europe. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, pending regulatory approvals. It is expected that Haynes and O’Keefe will leave after a transition period following the transaction close.


Haynes said: “Kevin’s contribution to making Chi-X Europe a success can’t be underestimated. He was involved with the project from the outset and has played a crucial role in shaping the ownership structure of the company and steering Chi-X Europe into the position of being the first MTF to date to break into profitability.” 


O’Keefe said: “Being part of the team that created, grew and ultimately sold Chi-X Europe has been an incredibly fulfilling experience. The European stock exchanges landscape has changed beyond all recognition in the last six or so years and I’m very proud to have been part of that change.”


Haynes joined Chi-X Europe in late 2009 as CEO to lead the company through its transition from a subsidiary of Instinet Holdings to an independent company. He said, “Chi-X Europe has gone from being a start-up subsidiary, ultimately owned by an investment bank, into one of the strongest stand-alone brands in the European exchanges sphere. I am tremendously proud of what has been achieved at Chi-X Europe during my tenure as it has continued to be the largest pan-European equities exchange and is the first MTF to date to break into profitability. In addition, this year we delivered on our plan to introduce a derivatives strategy by concluding an agreement with Russell Investments to launch a family of pan-European indices.” 


Chi-X Europe was launched in March 2007 to trade more than 1,300 of the most liquid securities across 25 indices and 15 major European markets, as well as ETFs (exchange traded funds), ETCs (exchange traded commodities) and IDRs (international depositary receipts) in both a visible order book and the Chi-Delta non-displayed order book.


Hemsley joined BATS Europe in 2008 as chief executive and is also a senior vice-president of BATS Global Markets. He said: “I believe we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us with BATS Chi-X Europe. Utilising the best qualities of both companies, we aim to create an even more competitive organization, which will continue to lead the way in pan- European equity trading.”


Founded in June 2005 in Kansas, BATS operates two US stock exchanges, the BZX Exchange and BYX Exchange; BATS Options, a U.S. equity options market; and BATS Europe, an FSA-authorised multilateral trading facility in Europe.


The BATS Chi-X Europe merger creates the second largest pan-European trading platform. Chi-X Europe has a market share of 17%; Bats Europe has 5.6%, giving Bats Chi-X Europe a 22.6% share of trading; the London Stock Exchange Group has 23.8% of European trading, when the figures of Turquoise (4.3%) and LSE subsidiary Borsa Italiana are included.


NYSE Euronext handles 16.7% of European trading and Deutsche Boerse has 13.6%. However, NYSE and the German exchange agreed terms for a $10.2 billion a merger in February, which would give them top spot. Nasdaq OMX and the IntercontinentalExchange launched a rival $11.2 billion bid on April 1.

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