Warsaw Bourse Management Change Won’t Delay New Trading System

The Warsaw Stock Exchange’s planned management changes won’t delay the introduction of a new trading system on central Europe’s biggest equity market, Leszek Pawlowicz, its supervisory board’s chairman said.

The board of the state-controlled bourse operator suspended Chief Executive Officer Ludwik Sobolewski on Dec. 21 after its probe showed Sobolewski breached the code of business ethics while helping seek financing for a movie production. The Treasury Ministry, which oversees state companies, is seeking to dismiss Sobolewski at a shareholders’ meeting this month.

The appointment of Adam Maciejewski, a management board member, as an acting CEO should help ensure the introduction of the Universal Trading Platform, suitable for high-frequency trading, on April 15, Pawlowicz said by phone today.

“We are absolutely sure the management change won’t delay the process,” Pawlowicz said. “The person appointed as acting CEO has been responsible for the new system implementation.”

The Warsaw bourse bought the UTP system from NYSE Euronext to replace its 13-year-old Warset platform and make trading more efficient for its clients. The start of the new system had been initially planned for late last year.

“The exchange intends to start the new system as planned. The risks associated with its implementation are no different from other large-scale IT projects involving numerous partners and institutions,” Maciejewski said by phone, adding the exchange is in talks with “several” brokerages planning to start trading in Poland after the new system is introduced.

The Warsaw exchange trades shares of 438 companies with total market capitalization at 743 billion zloty ($235 billion), according to its website. Its NewConnect platform for smaller companies lists further 430 companies, while the Catalyst market trades bonds issued by 157 entities.

Sobolewski, who led the exchange’s four-member management since June 2006, denied breaching the code of business conduct, according to his statement released to the media on Dec. 27.