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People news –July/August 2022

Appointments, promotions and other people news in the derivatives industry

10 August 2022

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John W. O'Brien Sr.
John W. O'Brien Sr.

Obituaries

RJ O'Brien confirmed the passing of former CEO and Chair John W. O'Brien Sr. on 9 July following a battle with cancer. The company's current CEO Gerry Corcoran says O'Brien was "an inspirational leader who relished his role as a director and ensured that the O'Brien family's values of treating clients with respect, doing business the right way and embracing employees like family were instilled throughout the organization."

O’Brien was the firm’s CEO from 1986 to 2000 and chairman from 2000 to 2007, leading one of the oldest and largest independent futures brokers in the world. During that time, he oversaw RJO’s early investments in technology and its expansion into international markets. His father, Robert O’Brien, a past chairman of RJO, died in January aged 103.

Gloria Wadsworth
Gloria Wadsworth

It is with great sadness that FIA reports the passing of Gloria Wadsworth, a longtime member of the FIA Law and Compliance executive committee, after a long battle with leukemia. Wadsworth was the global compliance director, derivatives at US commodities trader Bunge, and had worked in the compliance divisions at several financial firms in Chicago and New York during her career. 

Colleagues of Wadsworth describe her as the friendliest, most helpful person, who was kind, gracious, and generous with her time. She was quick to understand the complexities of futures and derivatives, particularly with a Midwestern farming life wisdom, and was a strong proponent of compliance and fair markets.

 

People News

Ashley Alder
Ashley Alder

Ashley Alder, chief executive of the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong, will step down to become chair of the UK Financial Conduct Authority for a five-year term. He will take over from interim chair Richard Lloyd.

Alder has led the SFC since 2011 and will leave at the end of September, taking up his new role in January 2023. He previously said he would step down in 2020 before reversing the decision to steer Hong Kong’s financial services industry through the coronavirus pandemic.

Alder moved to Hong Kong from the UK in 1989 as a lawyer at Herbert Smith, later becoming the head of the firm’s Asia region. While serving as chief executive of the SFC, he also took up a role as chair of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and sits on the Financial Stability Board's Plenary and its Steering Committee. 

Ruairi O’Connell
Ruairi O’Connell

The FCA has also appointed Ruairi O’Connell as its new director of international, responsible for helping to shape the FCA’s international strategy and overseeing its international engagement including matters arising from the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

O’Connell joins from the UK government's Home Office, where he was also director, international. Prior to that, he worked at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for nearly 20 years, holding positions such as head of the NATO summit unit within the Directorate for Defence and International Security, head of strategy and analysis in the Finance Directorate, and advisor to the UK special representative for climate change. 

Robert Ophèle stepped down as the chairman of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, France's principal markets regulatory, after his term came to an end on 31 July. Jean-Claude Hassan, a member of the AMF Board, has been appointed interim chairman of the authority. 

Michael Barr has been sworn in as the Federal Reserve's new vice chair of supervision. Barr fills the last open seat on the seven-member Fed board of governors and will serve for a four-year term. He previously served as the US Department of the Treasury's assistant secretary for financial institutions. Under President Bill Clinton, he served as the Treasury Secretary's special assistant, as deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury, as special adviser to the President, and as a special adviser and counselor on the policy planning staff at the US Department of State.

Daniel Sonder
Daniel Sonder

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing has appointed Daniel Sonder as its new chief strategy officer and head of data business, markets. Sonder was previously chief financial officer at the Brazilian stock exchange B3. In his strategy role, he reports to HKEX CEO, Nicolas Aguzin.

HKEX has also appointed two senior leaders to its emerging business development team. Andrew Walton has joined the exchange as managing director and head of digital assets, and Ken Chiu, who joined HKEX in 2018, has been promoted to head of carbon and ESG products, markets. Sonder, Walton and Chiu report to Glenda So and Wilfred Yiu, co-heads of markets at HKEX. The appointments were announced after Till Rosar, the head of group strategy, and Julien Martin, the co-head of emerging business development, left HKEX to pursue interests outside the company.

Citi has appointed Amit Raja as regional head of markets for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He takes over from Leo Arduini, who was promoted to chief operating officer of global markets in April. Raja has been the bank’s head of credit markets trading in EMEA since 2017 and senior manager for global spread products trading. 

Citi has also appointed Jennifer Reilly as head of listed derivatives client service for North America. She previously worked at Wells Fargo for eight years in a variety of roles, including operational risk manager. Earlier in her career, she worked in futures and FX operations at hedge fund Millennium Partners and in the futures client services group at Morgan Stanley.

Mike Nowak
Mike Nowak

OCC, the world's largest equity derivatives clearing organization, has appointed Mike Nowak as chief financial officer. He replaces Amy Shelly, who joined the Chicago-based clearinghouse in 2016 and is leaving to pursue a new opportunity. Nowak was previously CFO at ABN AMRO Clearing Chicago, where he oversaw the management of liquidity, capital, balance sheet and regulatory reporting for the firm. He previously served as chief operations officer for ABN AMRO Clearing Chicago. Nowak has been involved in FIA’s committees and working groups over the years and was appointed a member of OCC’s board of directors in 2021.

OCC has also hired Christa Lachenmayr as principal, regulatory policy. She joined the clearinghouse from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she was a senior economist in the division of market oversight.

Citadel has appointed Willis Kidd as its head of agriculture after Robert Crosby left the hedge fund earlier this summer. Kidd, who joined the firm in 2014, is running the agriculture team as a portfolio manager in Chicago. He previously worked at Louis Dreyfus Co., one of the world’s top agricultural commodity trading firms. 

Chris Topple
Chris Topple

Kevin Wolf, CEO of Euronext FX and Euronext US, is leaving the group to pursue other opportunities. Wolf joined Euronext five years ago from Viable Markets, prior to which he spent almost six years with Eris Exchange. Chris Topple, head of foreign exchange and commodities, and CEO of Euronext London, will take over the role of CEO of Euronext FX. Topple joined the exchange group late in 2018, moving from Société Générale in London where he was co-head of prime clearing services.

Standard Chartered has appointed Andy Ross as global head, prime and financing in its financing and securities services business, and head of financial markets, UK. Ross previously was chief executive of CurveGlobal, an interest rate futures exchange launched by the  London Stock Exchange Group in 2015, and a member of LSEG's capital markets leadership team. Prior to CurveGlobal, he held senior management positions at Morgan Stanley.

Thomas Pluta
Thomas Pluta

Tradeweb Markets has appointed Thomas Pluta as its next president. Pluta will join the firm as president-elect in October and become president on 1 January 2023, when current president Billy Hult succeeds Lee Olesky as CEO. Olesky will retire as CEO at the end of 2022 and continue as chairman through 2023. Pluta will join Tradeweb from JP Morgan, where he has worked for nearly 27 years, most recently as global head of linear rates trading and co-head of North America rates trading.

Lee Hodgkinson, the chief executive of UK prop trading company OSTC Group, has stepped down from the role to take up a new opportunity. His departure coincides with a corporate restructuring that will see OSTC Group separating its ZISHI financial education and training arm from its OSTC Markets business to become a standalone company, leaving the markets business to focus on a pure trading-related growth strategy. Under the new structure, current vice chairman and former OSTC chief executive Mark Slade will run the proprietary trading business, working closely with Michael Shirley, who becomes deputy CEO, while Chris Jenkins will continue to lead ZISHI as CEO. Hodgkinson previously led Euronext’s markets and global sales division and was CEO of Euronext London. 

Eileen Herlihy
Eileen Herlihy

JP Morgan has formed a new global trading services sales team for securities finance and collateral services products, led by Eileen Herlihy. Prior to this role, Herlihy was head of derivatives clearing sales to institutional clients in EMEA for JP Morgan.

Eric Juzenas has rejoined the US Securities and Exchange Commission as co-director in the office of market supervision within the trading and markets division. He was previously a counselor to the undersecretary for domestic finance at the US Treasury Department. Prior to that, he was chief counsel for SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee. Earlier in his career, he worked at the CFTC for 11 years in a variety of roles, including senior counsel to former CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.

Riad Mehovic has joined Wells Fargo Securities as director, futures electronic trading. He is based in New York. He previously worked at Credit Suisse for 12 years.

Crypto.com has appointed Stephen Humenik to lead its global derivatives legal team. The company recently expanded its derivatives offerings through its acquisitions of NADEX and the Small Exchange in March 2022. Prior to joining Crypto.com, Humenik was a partner at law firm K&L Gates. Earlier in his career, he served as special counsel and policy advisor to former CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia and as a former enforcement attorney with the CFTC.

Anita Nikolich
Anita Nikolich

Inca Digital, a digital asset intelligence company that provides data and analytics to exchanges, financial institutions, regulators and government agencies, has appointed former CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz to its advisory board and Anita Nikolich, a former US Marine cryptologist, as lead research advisor. In these positions, they will focus on the regulatory affairs and national security implications of digital assets. Quintenz was a CFTC Commissioner from 2017 to 2021 and also led the agency's Technology Advisory Committee. Nikolich is the director of research and technology at the University of Illinois and serves on the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Cyberinfrastructure. As a former US Marine cryptologist, she was one of the first female marines on the ground in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope.

Gresham Investment Management, an investment management firm that specializes in using commodity futures, has appointed Jonty Field as COO of GreshamQuant, based in London. Field was previously the global head of product and execution performance at interest rate futures specialist Quantitative Brokers. Before joining QB, Field was the head of trading analytics at AHL where he established and led the analytics team. 

Morgan Stanley has hired Joseph Ajibesin as executive director and counsel for futures and cleared derivatives, based in New York. He joins the bank from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he worked in the wholesale credit group within global banking. Earlier in his career, he was head of swap dealer compliance at Nomura and a regulatory attorney at Credit Suisse. 

Anish Puaar
Anish Puaar

Anish Puaar, head of European market structure at Rosenblatt Securities, has left the firm to join market maker Optiver’s corporate strategy team with a focus on European equity market structure, including new products, regulations and exchange relationships. Puaar will also be working with the European corporate strategy team on their market commentary and work around market structure advocacy.

David Dohmen, the former European head of compliance at broker RJ O’Brien and trading firm GAIN Capital, is joining cryptocurrency derivatives platform Deribit as head of regulatory compliance. Dohmen most recently ran compliance at online firm Trading 212.

TS Imagine, a provider of trading, portfolio, and risk management solutions, has promoted Thomas Bodenski to chief operating officer, based in New York. Bodenski was previously chief transformation and data officer at the company.

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