EnergyClear names Eurex's Earle as new president

ECC intends to launch clearing for 10 US electricity contracts and 20 US natural gas contracts by early September, Earle told RiskNews. Although it was set up in late 2000, with the aim of launching by the second quarter of 2001, the company found it hard to convince energy traders they needed to address credit risk concerns in what was then a prosperous market.

But Enron’s collapse and ensuing energy market credit difficulties have changed traders’ perceptions. Companies choosing to join as clearing members will have to pay an initial fee of $2.5 million.

Earle was previously responsible for Eurex’s US clearing projects and, before joining the Swiss-German exchange, was managing director of Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation. He was also the founding president of Commodity Futures Clearing Corporation of New York, which was established by members to act as the unified clearing agent for all New York futures exchanges. He was also formerly executive director of the Group of Thirty project, which reformed how the securities markets clear and settle trades.

Earle originally joined ECC’s board of directors in May, and the company is currently looking for a new board director to fill Earle’s previous position. Gilbert Whitaker, dean of Rice University’s Jess H Jones School of Management in Houston, also sits on the ECC board.

EnergyClear operates under a dual structure, with ECC owned by its members who will provide oversight and rule-making, and EnergyClear Operations Company owned by Bank of New York, Prebon Yamane and Amerex who will manage the clearing house’s technology.

The independent structure allows for unbiased operation of the clearing house, the company said, distinguishing it from the OTC clearing services provided by Atlanta’s IntercontinentalExchange or the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Earle’s hire comes as Jimmy Wright, ECC senior vice-president, left the company to “pursue other opportunities”.

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