Chi-X Europe has named Mark Howarth as interim chief executive officer, taking over the position from Peter Randall, who stepped down last month for personal reasons.
For the past year Howarth has served as chief operating officer for Asia-Pacific at Chi-X Global. Prior to joining Chi-X, Howarth served as chief executive officer for Thomson Financial in Asia-Pacific, and before that spent time in senior institutional equities positions in Europe, Japan, and Hong Kong at Merrill Lynch, UBS and Instinet.
Randall's departure comes at a critical juncture for Chi-X which has seen its first mover advantage in the exchange trading space steadily eroded by the arrival of new market participants such as the bank-backed Turquoise platform and Bats Trading. Nyse Euronext has also moved into MTF start-up territory wich the launch Monday of Nyse Arca, bringing the number of competing platforms in the space to five; with others - such as Quote MTF and Equiduct - waiting in the wings.
Chi-X says Randall will continue to act in an advisory capacity.
"Through its technology, market model and incredibly lean cost basis, Chi-X Europe has been able to not only survive amid great competition, but also thrive," says Howarth. "I look forward to working with our team to continue to provide participants with the level of service and innovation that they have come to expect from Chi-X Europe."