The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has appointed Lynton Jones as chairman of its proposed Dubai Regional Financial Exchange.
Jones, aged 59, has run exchanges specialising in equities, derivatives and energy products, having started NASDAQ’s European operation and Jiway, the pan-European electronic stock market aimed at retail investors. He has also held management positions at the London Stock Exchange and the International Petroleum Exchange. In addition, Jones’s experience with NASDAQ, the OM London Exchange and Jiway has given him an insight into the development of electronic share dealing.
Jones’ early career was spent in the UK diplomatic service. He currently advises a number of financial clients through Bourse Consult, the strategic financial services consultancy which he founded.
Naser Nabulsi, Chief Executive Officer of the DIFC, said: “I am delighted that Lynton Jones is joining us. He brings to DIFC extensive international knowledge and experience in the stock exchange and related fields and I am certain he will be a valuable asset to our organisation and the region. Lynton has a proven track record as an innovator and shares my vision of the exchange as the engine driving the DIFC and generating new opportunities for investment, business growth and employment across the whole of the Middle East. The DIFC now has a real sense of momentum. We have UAE Cabinet approval for the main Federal Decree. We have a high calibre team in place. Each week brings a major new development. There is much still to be done – but we expect the DIFC to be open for business and issuing licenses in what is really a remarkably short time. As regards the Regional Financial Market itself, that will take a little longer – though I anticipate that it will be in operation by the end of next year.”
Lynton Jones said: “The great attraction of becoming chairman of the proposed Dubai Regional Financial Exchange is the opportunity to build from scratch a very new and innovative kind of financial market. This will be totally electronic and will not be restricted to just one kind of product. Instead it may, for example, include derivatives as well as equities, bonds and other products. We will complement other markets in the region – by growing a regional market, we would expect them to grow as well. My immediate tasks when I begin in September are to draw up a development blueprint to put to the DIFC board, to open discussions with potential partners and then to start hiring staff for the Regional Financial Exchange.”
The Dubai Regional Financial Exchange will trade a variety of instruments – derivatives as well as equities and bonds – instead of the single product or family of products in which most exchanges specialise. The other major distinguishing feature of the Dubai Regional Financial Exchange is the fact that all its governing laws and regulations will already be familiar to the major international banks and financial institutions. This is because they are deliberately based on existing legislation governing jurisdictions such as the City of London – and have even been drafted in English to be instantly accessible.
Lynton Jones was educated at University College of Wales where he received a First Class Honours degree in International Politics. The first 15 years of his career were spent in the Diplomatic Service where he held overseas placements in Zambia and Thailand before returning to London in 1974 as First Secretary, South East European Department. In 1975, he became Private Secretary to Lord Goronwy Roberts, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he remained until 1979 when he was made First Secretary, Commercial and Financial, at the British Embassy in Paris.
In 1983, he joined the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with initial responsibility for International Affairs. In 1985, in preparation for the Big Bang, he was given responsibility for setting up and running the LSE’s first public affairs department and for managing the Exchange’s 2 million corporate communications programme.
In 1987, he became Managing Director, Europe of NASDAQ International Ltd, setting up and running NASDAQ’s first overseas office and instituting and directing NASDAQ’s marketing campaign in Europe and then Latin America and Asia.
Between 1992-1996, Lynton Jones was Chief Executive and Managing Director of OMLX, The OM London Exchange, which was set up in London to trade Swedish equity derivatives. During his time there, he presided over a substantial increase in volumes, introduced new products and turned around its financial performance. In January 1996, he was made Group Director responsible for corporate development of OMLX’s parent, OM Group AB.
From 1996-1999, he was Chief Executive of the International Petroleum Exchange, the world’s second largest exchange for the trading of energy products, and saw a significant increase in volumes as well as being responsible for the launch of the UK’s first ever Natural Gas Futures Contract.
In February 2000, he joined Jiway Holdings Ltd, a start up company backed by Morgan Stanley and OM Group, which launched a pan-European electronic market targeting retail investors in November 2000. Following the departure of the Chief Executive in March 2001, he also undertook this role. Jiway was merged with OMLX in June 2001 and, following the collapse of the cross-border retail equity markets, was closed in 2003.
Currently he is a partner at Bourse Consult, the strategic financial services consultancy, which he founded.