People moves: Ice rings changes, new CFTC appointees, and more

Latest job changes across the industry

New York Stock Exchange
New chair for the New York Stock Exchange

US exchange group Ice has named Stuart Williams its group chief operating officer. Currently the president of Ice Futures Europe, Williams will take up his new position, reporting to Ice president Ben Jackson, once a successor has been found for the former role, according to an Ice release.

Williams joined NYSE Euronext in 2013, which was acquired by Ice in the same year. He became chief operating officer for Ice Futures Europe in 2016 and president in 2017. Before joining NYSE Euronext, he worked at Protiviti and Accenture.

Sharon Bowen
Sharon Bowen

Williams will take over from Mark Wassersug, who becomes chief information officer. Wassersug joined Ice in 2001, and served as senior vice-president of operations before becoming chief operating officer.

In addition, Sharon Bowen, who sits on the Ice board, has been named the next chair of the New York Stock Exchange.

Bowen is a former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) commissioner, a post she held between 2014 and 2017, and has also served as a vice-chair and acting chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. She began her career as a lawyer at Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1982, moving to Latham & Watkins in 1988, where she worked for 25 years.

Dennis McLaughlin, head of financial risk for the London Stock Exchange Group, left his role in October. McLaughlin was formerly group chief risk officer of LCH until his replacement in January 2021 by David Horner. At that point, McLaughlin became group head of financial risk at LSEG, majority owner of LCH.

Three months after McLaughlin assumed his wider LSEG remit, Raminder Boparai was appointed to the role of group head of financial and enterprise risk – taking over McLaughlin’s responsibilities. At the same time, McLaughlin resigned as a director of LCH and SwapAgent.

McLaughlin joined LCH in 2012 from Aon, where he was the chief executive officer for innovation and analytics. At Aon, he introduced and developed a new suite of analytics for the insurance giant. Before that, he was global head of capital and balance sheet management at Merrill Lynch.

A spokesperson for LSEG declined to comment on the departure.

Compression and post-trade services provider Quantile has been acquired by LSEG, subject to regulatory approval. The firm will keep its name, operating as a distinct entity within LSEG’s post-trade division. Esben Urbak and Rami Atieh have been hired as senior product managers, and both report to Varqa Abyaneh, Quantile’s chief product officer.

Urbak previously spent nine years at MUFG Securities, trading exotic interest rate and foreign exchange derivatives. Atieh was formerly at Crédit Agricole, where his last position was head of FX options for the Americas.

Abby Joseph Cohen
Abby Joseph Cohen
Photo: US Department of the Treasury/Flickr

Goldman Sachs veteran Abby Joseph Cohen is stepping down as president of the bank’s global markets institute, although she will remain a member of Goldman’s investment committee. She joins Columbia University as a professor within the graduate school of business.

Beginning her financial career as an economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, DC, she joined Goldman in 1990. Over the course of her career, she served as co-chair of the firm’s investment policy committee, chief US strategist, and was promoted to partner in 1998.

UBS Asset Management has appointed Lucy Thomas as its new head of sustainable investing. Based in Zurich, she reports to UBS AM’s head of investments, Barry Gill.

Thomas most recently worked for the New South Wales Treasury Corporation, an Australian sovereign financing authority, where she was head of investment stewardship. Prior to that, she was global head of sustainable investment at insurer Willis Towers Watson, and began her career working at Morgan Stanley.

RBC Investor & Treasury Services has appointed Paul Burd as global head of client operations.

Luxembourg-based Burd was previously chief operating officer of SIX Digital Exchange, a crypto-focused subsidiary of Swiss stock exchange SIX. Before that, he was head of global business operations at investment manager Fidelity International. Burd has also held positions at HSBC, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and, most recently, Barclays, where he was global head of investment bank operations.

Rostin Behnam has been confirmed as the fifteenth full chair of the US CFTC by the Senate. He has served as acting chairman since January 2021, and his term will expire in 2026.

President Joe Biden has also announced two new nominees for CFTC commissioner: Kristin Johnson and Christy Goldsmith Romero. The pair join fellow nominees Summer Mersinger and Caroline Pham, whose names were put forward in September 2021. The five-person body currently numbers just two, with Dawn Stump serving alongside Behnam.

Rostin Behnam
Photo: John Harrington
Rostin Behnam

Behnam’s tenure at the CFTC has been marked by a focus on climate-financial risk. In 2019, he announced the creation of a new group at the commission dedicated to the topic.

Prior to joining the CFTC, Behnam served as an adviser to Democratic senator Debbie Stabenow, following a stint at the New Jersey attorney general’s office.

The US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has appointed Lauren Oppenheimer as chief of staff to acting comptroller Michael Hsu. Oppenheimer, who joined the banking regulator in July 2021, will also join the OCC executive committee. She will supervise the comptroller’s staff and support Hsu, himself appointed by Treasury secretary Janet Yellen in spring 2021.

Before her latest position, Oppenheimer was director of legislative and intergovernmental affairs at the US Department of Commerce, and has worked with a number of US senators and representatives.

Erik Thedéen has been named the new vice-chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority. Thedéen is director-general of Sweden’s financial regulator, the Finansinspektionen.

He has been an Esma board member since 2018, and will hold the vice-chair role for two-and-a-half years. He is a member of the European Systemic Risk Board, as well as chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ Sustainable Finance Taskforce. Thedéen takes over from outgoing vice-chair Anneli Tuominen.

Tuominen, meanwhile, has been appointed to the supervisory board of the European Central Bank, replacing Pentti Hakkarainen. Tuominen is also director-general of Finland’s financial regulator, the Finanssivalvonta.

Her term at the ECB will last five years. Tuominen sits on the board of both the European Systemic Risk Board and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority. She is also a member of the Regional Consultative Group for Europe at the Financial Stability Board (FSB). Before joining the Finnish regulator, Tuominen was a vice-president of capital markets at Union Bank of Finland.

The FSB has made Lael Brainard chair of its Standing Committee on Assessment of Vulnerabilities, a body dedicated to monitoring potential weak points in the world financial system and proposing regulatory solutions.

Brainard, who remains a member of the board of governors of the US Fed, takes over from former committee chair Klaas Knot, president of the Netherlands Bank (DNB), who stepped down to become chair of the FSB as a whole in December 2021. Brainard will serve as SCAV chair for a two-year renewable term.

Another appointment is probably around the corner for Brainard. In November 2021, President Biden announced that he planned to appoint her vice-chair of the board of governors of the Fed, with Jerome Powell as chair.

Brainard has previously worked for the US Treasury, the Brookings Institution, and as an economic adviser to Bill Clinton during his presidency.

The International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation has named Emmanuel Faber the first chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), a new body created by the IFRS at COP26 in November 2021.

Faber is a steering committee member of the Group of Seven Impact Taskforce, and previously worked as a vice-president of investment banking at Barings Bank in the 1990s. He was chairman of food giant Danone from 2014 to 2021.

The ISSB aims to develop new sustainability and disclosure standards for investors. The board says it will announce further appointments, including vice-chairs and senior staffers, in the near future. It intends to release its first public consultation, containing proposals for general disclosure requirements and climate-specific standards, before the end of March.

Joachim Nagel has become president of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank. He replaces Jens Weidmann, who announced in October last year that he would be resigning from his post on December 31, 2021 – five years before the end of his 10-year term.

Joachim Nagel
Joachim Nagel

Nagel was nominated by German finance minister Christian Lindner and chancellor Olaf Scholz. Most recently, he was deputy head of banking at the Bank for International Settlements. He has also served as a member of the executive board of KfW Bank, as well as a member of the executive board of the Deutsche Bundesbank itself.

Cryptocurrency derivatives platform B2C2 has named Dean Sovolos its new general counsel for the Americas and head of regulatory affairs. The former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent most recently worked for the US Department of Justice (DOJ), where he was a federal prosecutor in New York and New Jersey. Sovolos will work on preparing B2C2 for upcoming “regulatory changes”, according to a statement from Robert Catalanello, one of the firm’s co-CEOs.

London-based B2C2 was acquired by Japanese group SBI Financial Services in December 2020, and has offices in New Jersey and Tokyo. In the summer of 2021, B2C2 hired Nicola White, formerly chief operating officer for fixed income at Citadel Securities, as president of its US business.

Investment adviser Wilshire has appointed former JP Morgan executive Blythe Masters as chair of its digital asset advisory group. Working with crypto market data provider Digital Asset Research, the group is developing an “industry standard digital asset taxonomy system”, to be made available this January, according to a Wilshire press release.

The taxonomy, the firm hopes, will allow for the classification and comparison of digital assets around the world. It will cover digital currencies themselves, as well as crypto and smart contract platforms and related financial products.

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance.US – a US-only offshoot of crypto exchange Binance – has hired its first chief risk officer. Sidney Majalya will also serve as deputy general counsel and join Binance.US’s executive team, reporting to CEO Brian Shroder.

Majalya previously worked at Intel, where he was chief compliance officer and group counsel for global government affairs. Before that, he was head of legal compliance at Uber, and spent a decade as a trial attorney in the US DOJ’s antitrust division, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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