The London Stock Exchange has announced that Martin Wheatley is stepping down from the Board with effect from 1 April 2004 after 18 years of service with the Company. Wheatley was most recently in charge of Regulatory Strategy and Communications functions.
“Martin has made an outstanding contribution to the Exchange’s development,” says Clara Furse, Chief Executive. “In particular, he played a key role in establishing the successful SETS electronic order book and during the Exchange’s demutualisation in 2000. We thank Martin for his dedication, enthusiasm and hard work and wish him well for the future.”
In a separate development, the Exchange revamped the management of the AIM market. The Management Board will now be chaired by Martin Graham who, in addition to his existing role as the Exchange’s Director of Market Services, will assume the role of Head of AIM. The Exchange will also recruit for the position of Deputy Head of AIM, who will have specific responsibilities for coordinating the future development of the market, including regulation, policy and business development activities.
Other key members of the Management Board will include Tracey Pierce, the Exchange’s Head of Company Services, who will retain responsibility for AIM business development activities in the UK and internationally, and David Shrimpton, the Exchange’s Head of Trading Services, who will continue to be responsible for AIM regulation and policy issues.
“The new management structure will give AIM new strategic and operational focus, and will preserve its unique status,” explains Martin Graham. “It will also further strengthen the operational resilience and strategic direction of AIM and ensure that the next stage of AIM’s evolution builds on its great success since its launch in 1995.”
AIM is the London Stock Exchange’s international market for young and growing companies. As at 4 February 2004, there are 760 AIM companies, up from 705 at the same time in 2003. Of these 62 are international companies (2003: 50 international).
In 2003, 162 new companies joined AIM, including 66 IPOs raising over 1 billion, with AIM alone accounting for 60% of all IPOs in Western Europe (with the London Stock Exchange as a whole accounting for 78% of all IPOs in Western Europe). The number of shares traded on AIM more than doubled from 24.8 billion in 2002 to 54.7 billion in 2003 with the value of shares traded rising from 3.5 billion to 6.6 billion over the same period.