ASX loses Deputy CEO and keeps postponing replacement of CHESS

Rick Steves

The exchange has been working since January 2016 with its technology partner Digital Asset to examine and test the ability of a DLT-based system to underpin the replacement of CHESS.

Peter Hiom, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Group Executive Business Development at ASX, has resigned and will leave the organization on 1 July 2021, the Australian Securities Exchange announced.

Mr. Hiom spent 23 years with the exchange operator, most recently bearing executive responsibility for the delivery and governance of ASX’s CHESS replacement project.

He is leaving to pursue opportunities within the fintech and blockchain technology space, namely joining fintech specialized venture capital firm Motive Partners as an Industry Partner.

Dominic Stevens, Managing Director and CEO at ASX, commented: “Peter has made a significant contribution to Australia’s financial markets over many years, first at SFE and then ASX, including the past 11 years as Deputy CEO.

“Peter is a strong advocate for embracing new technology to deliver innovation and efficiency across our industry. This is best exemplified by his leadership of the investigation and adoption of distributed ledger technology to underpin the replacement of CHESS. We thank and congratulate Peter on his service and wish him the very best.”

The replacement of CHESS will now be supervised by Group Executive Tim Hogben, who has been involved in the project from the start, assuming day-to-day management and oversight when the project transitioned from the design to delivery phase in October last year. The project remains on track for go-live in April 2023.

Peter Hiom, Departing Deputy CEO, said: “ASX has a long history of innovation in financial markets and it has been a privilege to have been part of its journey. The company is well-positioned for the technology-driven opportunities ahead, and I thank our customers and everyone at ASX for their hard work and support over the years. These are exciting times in global financial markets and I look forward to continuing to play a part in shaping the industry’s future.”

In late 2020, FinanceFeeds covered a data issue at the ASX matching system, which forced execution prices to be based on the ASX-lit best bid and offer temporarily.

ASIC is concerned that there have been further issues with infrastructure at ASX and is working with stakeholders to ensure that any impact on the fair, orderly and transparent operation of the markets is minimized. ASIC is actively assessing ASX’s compliance with its market license obligations and is considering further actions to ensure the adequacy of ASX’s human, financial and technological resources to operate its markets in an orderly manner.

ASX has postponed the replacement of CHESS with a distributed ledger-based system for many years. The exchange has been working since January 2016 with its technology partner Digital Asset to examine and test the ability of a DLT-based system to underpin the replacement of CHESS.

This process led to the decision in December 2017 to proceed with a DLT-based solution. In 2019, the operator announced the system would be ready by mid-2021.

The live date was then re-scheduled to April 2022 to allow CHESS users to focus on their day-to-day operational activities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The firm now states the project remains on track for go-live in April 2023.

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