The Chief Executive Officer of LME, Matthew Chamberlain, is quitting the world’s biggest industrial metals markets after five years at the helm, all to lead a blockchain-based startup. The decision came after experiencing a turbulent year at the futures & forwards metal exchange.
LME, wholly-owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx), informed us of this development on 21 Jan, as Matt Chamberlain was relieved of all his positions within the HKEX Group as well.
The change comes after a third consecutive annual drop in volumes at the famed trading venue, falling to its lowest in more than a decade in 2021, even as metal prices surged. Chamberlain has lately faced criticisms over plans to shutter the floor (an open-outcry trading floor is still used to establish some key prices) permanently, and his exit is likely to stoke a long-running debate over efforts to modernize the historic exchange.
In the meantime, Adrian Farnham, the head of LME Clear, is set to take over as interim CEO after Chamberlain’s leaves at the end of April.
Brief On Chamberlain’s Journey. Where To Now?
Chamberlain – a former banker – swiftly rose the ranks after joining LME in 2012, and was just 34 when he’d gotten promoted to the top. At the time, he oversaw major reform of the exchange’s warehousing network, and won praise for countering users’ discontent over increasing trading fees by rolling back fee charges through package reforms early in his tenure.
Nevertheless, his ambitions of perpetually closing LME’s historic trading floor and moving fully to an electronic and phone-brokered market received significant backlash from its famously fractious user base, Evening Standard reports. But now, he will be taking over Komainu, a company backed by Nomura Securities and CoinShares International, as its new CEO.
Komainu was launched in 2018 and turned into one of the first companies offering the service of guarding crypto assets. Its a crypto custodian that came out as a venture led by Japanese bank Nomura. The company operates digital wallets for storage of virtual tokens held primarily by private banks and pension funds: Evening Standard remarks.