Don Cruickshank is to step down from his position as chairman of the London Stock Exchange when his three-year term of office expires in July next year.
Commenting on the decision, Cruickshank says: "This early announcement is intended to give the board sufficient time to find and appoint a high calibre successor. I will remain as chairman until the conclusion of the 2003 AGM, and during that time will offer my successor my full support."
Cruickshank has been a high-profile occupant of the chairman's seat, lobbying hard on the abolition of stamp duty in the UK, and cross-border settlement at a European level.
He says he is stepping down in order to explore "new challenges" elsewhere.