Patsystems' de Cock ousted from CEO role

The reshuffling is part of a wider attempt to restructure patsystems. The company said it intends to concentrate on building its core business of trade screen systems, which includes its flagship Web-based trading product, J Trader. Jones said patsystems was previously a "small start-up firm running on informal lines" but that further development of the firm "requires a robust structure".

“Historically, patsystems has actively developed peripheral relationships in order to grow the business. This strategy has not delivered the required benefits that we seek. We intend to refocus our priorities on the profitability of our core business and therefore I now intend to concentrate on reducing expenditure on non-core activities and accelerating sales of our current market leading products. This will support our move towards profitability,” said Jones.

"Investment to date in infrastructure and the core products provides a sound foundation to move forward. Current trading is in line with market expectations. However, the board will closely monitor any impact that may arise from the terrible recent events in North America... Over the coming months, I will be working with the board to deliver improved performance and also, looking ahead, to securing a long-term successor as chief executive," Jones added.

An old hand at developing trading platforms, Jones founded ShareLink, the telephone and internet stockbrokers, which at its peak had a business database of more than 1 million private investors and corporate clients, before it merged with Charles Schwab in 1995. He has also served as a board member of the London Stock Exchange and Bank of England Crest settlement organisation.

In another change at patsystems, chief operating officer Scott Shellady has resigned from the board with immediate effect. Before joining patsystems in March 2000, Shellady was a managing director at Industrial Bank of Japan Lanston Futures in London, where he was responsible for compliance accounting and operations, reporting directly to the chairman. He has also worked at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell as an associate director in charge of over-the-counter options and floor execution at the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (Liffe).

Jones told RiskNews that although Shellady is a "creative guy with experience" he didn't feel his experience was sufficient for managing patsystems moving forward. Jones added that he will be taking on the majority of Shellady’s previous day-to-day duties, and will be delegating other parts of the chief operating officer role to other senior managers.

Patsystems said Thomas Theys, the original founder and executive chairman of patsystems, is moving from his role as chairman to become non-executive president, continuing to serve as an active board member. Patsystems said Theys had been instrumental in building the business since it was first conceived in 1994 and that he will support business and product development, particularly in the US market, where the drive to electronic trading is accelerating. Jones said Theys' skills lie in the project development area and his move to president will mean that he is relieved of line management and decision-making duties.

Meanwhile, derivatives veteran Richard Sandor, who joined the board in 1999 as a non-executive director, has been made non-executive chairman. Sandor is widely recognised as a founder of the interest rate derivatives markets. He currently serves as a non-executive director of Liffe and has also served multiple terms on the board of directors at the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In his new role he will oversee board member activities.

Patsystems was floated on the London Stock Exchange in March 2000. The company launched J-Stox, a new product connectivity for the trading of single-stock futures in partnership with Direct Access Financial, a provider of US equity trading platforms last week (see RiskNews, September 5).

"If I need to make [further management] changes we will go ahead and do that," said Jones, adding that there should be no negative effects on patsystems’ customers.

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