Matthew Chamberlain has been named as the new ceo of the London Metal Exchange with immediate effect, parent company Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Limited (HKEX) and the LME announced on Friday April 21.
He has held the position of interim ceo since January 2017 following Garry Jones’s retirement, and was the favourite among many industry members to take up the position.
At just 35 years old, Chamberlain is one of the youngest ceos in the world. He will have to overcome a number of challenges currently facing the exchange, namely having to deal with falling trading volumes and revenues, increased competition from other exchanges and stricter regulations.
Chamberlain will work closely with Adrian Farnham, LME Clear ceo, while James Proudlock will take on the role of md and head of market development for the LME and LME Clear.
Charles Li, HKEX ceo, was in London this week for the announcement. He said: “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. We are confident that Matthew, together with Adrian and James, are the right leadership team to bring further success for the Group as we continue to grow our business and extend our geographical reach.”
Despite critics calling for a more experienced metals specialist to take up the role, the general consensus of Chamberlain’s take over seems to be positive.
One trader noted: “I personally think this the most logical decision for the LME to make, Matt has very quickly assimilated into the world of metals and has the ability to engage with both Exchange members and clients alike and I believe will be seen [as] a neutral voice of reason “
He has already overseen warehouse reform aimed at reducing queues, which has gone part of the way to repairing fractious relations with some of the LME’s core members. The fixing of tension between traders and the LME will be high on the new ceo’s list of priorities.
The LME believes the new leadership structure will allow the exchange to continue to strengthen and secure its role as the centre for global metals trading.
“This is an exciting time to take on the role of chief executive, and I look forward to working closely with our members, clients and the broader metals community,” Chamberlain said of the appointment.
Before joining the LME in November 2012, Chamberlain advised HKEX on the acquisition of the LME while heading European financial technology coverage at UBS.
He started his career at Citibank and holds an MA from Cambridge University. Previously, he was a founding member of the financial institutions coverage team at Perella Weinberg.