Plus Markets gets new chairman and CEO

Source: Plus Markets

The Board of PLUS Markets Group plc ("PLUS Markets" or "the Company") are pleased to announce a number of board changes. These are intended to enhance the company's ongoing development plans, building on its present foundations and its expertise in trading and listing of small & mid-cap companies.

Giles Vardey has been appointed as Non-Executive Chairman with effect from today. Giles has over 27 years senior management and board experience in financial markets, investment banking and high growth companies. Recently he was a consultant at Babson Capital, a major US fund manager, and he is also a non-executive director of Pipeline Financial Europe Ltd, a specialist equity trading systems provider. Previous roles include Chairman of CQS Management, one of Europe's leading hedge funds, and Chief Executive of Greig Middleton & Co, part of Gerrard plc, which at the time was the largest private client stockbroking firm in the UK.
Prior to his becoming President and CEO of Fidelity Brokerage Services, a division of the US fund management giant, Giles served on the main board of the London Stock Exchange between 1992 and 1997, as the board director responsible for implementing SETS and the creation of AIM and FTSE International. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and has served on the Securities Trading Committee of the London Investment Banking Association.
Giles was a non-executive director of the Company from January 2007 to September 2009. Full details as required by the AIM Rules are provided below.
Giles takes over the chairmanship of the Board from Stephen Hazell-Smith, who is stepping down. Stephen has completed five years as Chairman and under his stewardship the Company's wholly owned subsidiary, PLUS Markets plc, became a Recognised Investment Exchange and its trading volumes and primary market activity increased markedly. The Board is very grateful for his significant contribution to this important phase of the Company's development.
Simon Brickles, currently Chief Executive Officer, takes up the new executive role of Vice Chairman, with a focus on PLUS Markets' international activity, particularly in the Middle East. This appointment will take effect from 15 February 2010. Cyril ary 2010. Cyril Theret, BusineMiddle East. This appointment will take effect from 15 February 2010. Cyril ary 2010. Cyril Theret, Business Development Director since 2007, steps into the role of Chief Executive Officer with effect from that date. He will continue to work closely with Chief Financial Officer Nemone Wynn-Evans to drive the company towards profitability.
During 2009, the PLUS stock exchange recorded a substantial rise in trading volumes of over 200% on the previous year by number of shares traded, with total value traded amounting to £52.7 billion. Overall equity flow ranked third * for all UK equities trading by volume of shares for the months of September, October and November. The exchange saw strong retail activity in FTSE 100 stocks during volatile periods in 2009, with PLUS market share in certain bank stocks rising as high as 30% by value. With the commencement of AIM trading in Q3, during Q4 PLUS attracted some 25-30% of trading activity on the AIM market onto its exchange, while capturing almost 100% market share of certain securities.
Despite the generally difficult market conditions which continue to prevail, some 30 companies applied to join the PLUS-quoted market during 2009, 18 of which had been admitted by the end of December. and its advisory community continued to build with the admission of six new PLUS Corporate Advisers. In addition, its reach broadened to appeal to a more diverse range of asset classes, including the issue by Barclays Bank of Nuclear Power Notes following the acquisition of British Energy by EDF, and the issue by Bank of New York Mellon of Global Depository Receipts on PLUS.
The new Board will be seeking to capitalise on PLUS Markets' position as a fully competitive stock exchange based in London, leveraging its ability to offer primary market services by diversifying its product portfolio and extending its geographical reach, while developing its secondary market services through moving into electronic execution. More details of the company's enlarged strategic ambitions will be made available in due course.
Giles Vardey said:" I am delighted to be leading the PLUS stock exchange into the next phase of its development. The exchange has already won significant market share in an extraordinarily competitive trading environment and attracted some innovative customer business. It is now in a strong position to extend its scope in both primary and secondary market activity and pursue the many opportunities opening up in international capital markets."
Cyril Theret said: "I look forward to working closely with our customers in order to provide them with equity market services that are closely aligned to their needs. Having established a firm franchise in the small & mid-cap space, we now seek to leverage this position to offer creative market-driven solutions in a rapidly-changing industry environment,"
Simon Brickles said: "PLUS has completed the first phase of its development. It has gained its status as an exchange, obtained its licences and become a natural home for many small companies. It is now time to build on these achievements and cater for a broader range of products and services and to continue to expand internationally. It is right that as the Company enters this exciting broader phase that it has a new Chairman and Chief Executive and I offer them my full support."
Additional information
Full directors' disclosure details for Giles Vardey, age 53, as required by the AIM Rules Schedule 2 paragraph g are as follows.
Current Directorships: 54 Onslow Gardens Management Ltd, Canford School Ltd, Pipeline Financial Europe Ltd. Past Directorships within the last five years: Computerland UK Ltd, Hunter-Fleming Ltd, Knightserve Ltd, PLUS Markets Group plc, PLUS Markets plc, The Boat Race Company Ltd.
He was a director of a company known as ProtX Limited, now Xtorp Limited, when the company was placed in administration on 16 March 2001. He had joined the company on 1 September 2000 in order to assist with the rescue of the company. A payment counterparty froze significant funds of the company in March 2001 and the board of directors called in adminstrators. He ceased to be a director on 14 October 2002.
He joined Brightview Limited as a director on 17 September 2001. He resigned on 23 April 2002. 11 months following his resignation, on 9 April 2003, the company was placed in administration. The administration followed the withdrawal of funds by the main lender. All creditors were repaid in full and the company was liquidated on 26 April 2006.
Save for the above, there is no further information to be disclosed.

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