In February Société Générale announced the promotion of Jean-François Grégoire, an equity derivatives trader with extensive experience in Asia and the U.S., to serve as the head of its global markets business. He replaced Frank Drouet, who had been head of global markets since April 2016. Grégoire joined the bank in 1996 and between 2001 and 2009 he was head of equity derivatives trading for Asia-Pacific and then the U.S. In 2009, he was appointed head of U.S. trading based in New York and in 2012 he moved to Paris as global head of trading. In November 2015 he shifted to the risk management side of the business and has been serving since then as deputy chief risk officer.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission appointed Mel Gunewardena as deputy director of its market intelligence branch and the CFTC’s chief market intelligence officer. Prior to joining the CFTC, Gunewardena served as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and State Street and co-managing partner of G Capital Fund. He replaced Andrew Busch, who was the CFTC's first chief market intelligence officer and served from 2017 until the end of 2018.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission named Gabriel Benincasa as its first chief risk officer. This position was created by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton to strengthen the agency’s risk management and cybersecurity efforts. As chief risk officer, Benincasa "will coordinate the SEC’s continued efforts to identify, monitor, and mitigate key risks facing the Commission," according to a press release. Benincasa previously worked in risk and compliance positions in the financial sector, including at CIT and Quad Capital.
Vakt, a company that uses distributed ledger technology for oil trading, announced that Etienne Amic, a former senior executive at Mercuria and J.P. Morgan, will join the company as chief executive. Vakt’s platform, which went live in November, is backed by oil companies such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell, commodity trading firms such as Gunvor, Koch and Mercuria, and banks such as ABN Amro, ING and Société Générale. Currently Amic is the chairman of Vortexa, a data and analytics company focused on global crude oil and refined products markets, and a founding partner at CommodiTech Ventures, a fund focused on early stage investments in commodity-related technology. Earlier in his career he was head of European energy at Mercuria and before that a managing director at J.P. Morgan.
Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing announced two new high-level hires. Wilfred Yiu will join the company in April as head of markets, reporting to Charles Li, the chief executive officer, and Calvin Tai, the chief operating officer. He will have responsibility for the group’s equity and derivatives markets business and operations, including its customer engagement, product development and market structure initiatives. He replaces Roger Lee who retired in December 2018. Yiu currently is deputy chief executive officer and chief operating officer for Beijing Gao Hua Securities, a Chinese securities brokerage, and chairman of Qian Kun Futures, its subsidiary in Shenzen. Before joining the company in 2010, he was managing director, fixed income, commodities and currencies, at Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong.
Additionally Bipin Patel will join HKEX company as group risk officer in April, reporting to Li. Patel will be responsible for all aspects of the group’s risk management and information security. He is currently a senior advisor for JPX Group, the largest exchange in Japan, advising its clearinghouse on global best practices in risk modeling and risk management techniques. Previously he worked at LCH Clearnet and led the FX quantitative risk team there before becoming the head of risk for exchanges and then head of risk for SwapClear.
HKEX also announced several internal promotions. Calvin Tai, the chief operating officer, and Romnesh Lamba, co-head of market development, have been appointed co-presidents. Li Gang becomes sole head of market development, focusing on the group’s FICC business and related Mainland marketing and projects. He also will have oversight of the Qianhai Mercantile Exchange, the company's commodity trading platform in a free-trade zone near Hong Kong. Roland Chai, currently group risk officer, has been appointed to the newly created position of head of post-trade, reporting to Charles Li and Calvin Tai. The new post-trade division includes HKEX’s clearing and risk management functions across equities and fixed income, currencies and commodities, both on-exchange and OTC, as well as the company’s market surveillance and monitoring functions. Chai will continue as group risk officer until Patel takes up his role. Richard Leung becomes group chief technology officer, effective immediately. He will be responsible for HKEX’s technology strategy and operations in Hong Kong, London and the Mainland.
Deutsche Bank promoted Nic Maalouf to managing director and appointed him as global head of listed derivatives and clearing. He previously was the London head of delta one trading and inventory optimization. Before that he was an equity derivatives trader.
The European Energy Exchange Group is mourning the loss of its chairman Jürgen Kroneberg, who passed away Feb. 15 at the age of 69. “We are deeply saddened by the sudden and far too early death of Dr. Jürgen Kroneberg. His extensive expertise in the energy industry and his confidence in EEX Group have been important pillars of our success,” said Peter Reitz, chief executive officer of EEX, in a statement. Kroneberg has chaired the supervisory board of EEX since its founding in 2000.
Commodity futures veteran Addison Armstrong has joined FreightWaves as executive director of freight futures. Previously, Armstrong was an executive director of sales and marketing for J.P. Morgan, and held senior positions in the futures community at ADM Investor Services and Tradition Financial Services over a 20-year career in commodity markets. Freightwaves, which was named FIA's 2018 Innovator of the Year at its Innovator's Pavilion at FIA Expo in Chicago, has developed a futures contract based on the cost of shipping goods by truck, and has partnered with Nodal Exchange to introduce the contracts in March.
ErisX, a newly established digital assets platform, has named three executive hires as it expands its cryptocurrency services. Robert Thrash joined ErisX as chief operating officer from Barclays, where he spent more than 11 years in various leadership positions including managing director of agency derivatives services. The company has also hired Arnold Connell as its head of infrastructure from YouTube, where Connell was a senior technical program manage, and John Denza as business development executive from Pico Quantitative Trading, where he served as head of U.S. sales.
Digital Asset Holdings hired Zohar Hod as its new chief strategy officer. Hod previously worked at truePTS, a post-trade derivatives processing platform, where he was the chief executive for nearly three years. Before that, Hod was the global head of sales and support at ICE Data Services. Digital Asset also said Gavin Wells, its European head, will leave the company in March. Before joining Digital Asset Holdings, Wells worked at LCH from 2008 to 2016, serving as global head of ForexClear for LCH.Clearnet.
NFA's board of directors re-elected Michael Dawley to serve as its chairman. Dawley is president of Bluefin Partners, chairman of the Institute for Financial Markets and a board member of FIA. He was re-elected to a one year term. Separately, NFA's board also re-elected Maureen Downs of Phillip Capital to serve as vice-chairman. Downs previously served on the board of FIA.
Cboe has announced two hires in its Markets Division Group. Arianne Criqui joins Cboe as senior vice president, head of options and business development. She previously worked for eight years at Goldman Sachs, most recently as head of electronics options sales. Rob Hocking joins Cboe as vice president, head of derivatives strategy. He previously worked at DRW Trading Group for almost 10 years, most recently as global head of equity volatility trading.
In addition, Cboe has announced Matt McFarland was promoted to vice president, head of futures at Cboe Futures Exchange. McFarland has worked at Cboe for almost 12 years, including serving as its head of CFE strategy and business operations and as head of London business development.
Kevin Batteh, a blockchain industry veteran and former CFTC attorney, has founded a Washington, D.C., regulatory strategy firm. Jenga Advisors LLC will focus on advising blockchain companies with respect to regulatory compliant token projects and secondary market listings on global trading platforms. Jenga Advisors was established through a partnership between Batteh and Jenga Business Consulting Group of Singapore.