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Liffe Executive Departures Said Planned Following ICE’s Takeover

The New York Stock Exchange
Traders work at the InterContinentalExchange Inc. (ICE) booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of ICE climbed 1.4 percent today at 12:54 p.m. New York time, extending their 2013 gain to 56 percent and giving the company a $14 billion market value. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg

Two senior executives at NYSE Liffe, Fraser Cowie and Ian Dudden, plan to leave the derivatives market after IntercontinentalExchange Inc. finishes buying its owner, NYSE Euronext, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Cowie is the executive director for strategic alliances at London-based NYSE Liffe, while Dudden is head of commodity derivatives. More executives will probably leave once the acquisition closes, according to the people, who asked to not be identified because the negotiations are still in progress.

Past takeovers by ICE Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Sprecher, who already employs London-based derivatives executives, have prompted makeovers at the acquired companies. After buying the New York Board of Trade and International Petroleum Exchange, Sprecher shut their trading floors and moved them to all-electronic platforms.

Sprecher is creating one of the world’s largest exchange operators by purchasing NYSE Euronext, adding Liffe’s financial futures and the New York Stock Exchange to his Atlanta-based company’s existing focus on energy derivatives.

Shares of ICE climbed 1.1 percent yesterday, extending their 2013 gain to 56 percent and giving the company a $14 billion market value. NYSE Euronext, valued at $10.7 billion, advanced 40 percent since Dec. 31 through yesterday. CME Group Inc., the owner of the world’s largest futures market, is the biggest exchange operator by market value at $24.8 billion.

Deal Delay

ICE postponed the closing date for the transaction this week, saying the Nov. 4 goal won’t be met because some regulatory approvals are pending. NYSE Euronext Chief Financial Officer Michael Geltzeiler already publicly announced he will join ADT Corp. once the deal is complete. The departure of NYSE Liffe’s co-CEO, Mark Ibbotson, was revealed in August.

NYSE Liffe CEO Finbarr Hutcheson is negotiating to remain with the company and turn his focus to reforming the London InterBank Offered Rate, according to the three people familiar with the matter. NYSE Euronext, whose Liffe exchange is the biggest market for short-term interest-rate derivatives, vowed in July to restore confidence in the London benchmark that’s at the heart of the financial world’s biggest scandal.

Liffe said July 9 that it will replace the British Bankers’ Association in administering Libor following a rigging investigation that has generated billions of dollars in fines.

Dudden, Cowie and Hutcheson declined to comment, as did Adaora Anunoby, a spokeswoman for Liffe, and ICE’s Claire Miller.

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