ASX appoints first female chief executive officer

New CEO will replace Dominic Stevens, who will aid with the transition until 30 September, after which he intends to retire.

ASX has appointed Helen Lofthouse as managing director and chief executive officer, effective from 1 August 2022 – marking the first time ASX has had female leadership.

Lofthouse joins a small but distinguished circle of female exchange CEOs in the trading space: including Julia Hoggett, who was appointed CEO of London Stock Exchange in December 2020 and Julie Becker of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, who took the helm in April 2021. Across the pond, the New York Stock Exchange also has strong female leadership – in 2018 it appointed Stacey Cunningham as its first female leader, and in December 2021 she was succeeded by the exchange’s current president, Lynn Martin, while Sharon Bowen became the NYSE chair.

Lofthouse currently serves as group executive markets for ASX, having initially joined the firm in 2015 as a member of its executive leadership team.

Speaking on Lofthouse’s appointment, ASX chairman, Damian Roche said: “Given the high calibre of experienced candidates attracted to the position, we are delighted that the outstanding choice to lead ASX as its new CEO comes from within the organisation. It is testament to Helen’s qualities and highlights the strength within ASX’s executive ranks.”

Lofthouse bring considerable experience in financial markets to the role, with over 20 years’ experience in cash equity and debt markets, listed and OTC derivatives, and clearing and settlement services.

Before joining ASX, she served as managing director at UBS for close to four years and prior to that, held various senior positions at JP Morgan, where she spent nearly 14 years.

Speaking on her appointment, Lofthouse said: “I am honoured and humbled to be chosen as the CEO of ASX given the critical role it plays in Australia’s financial markets.

“As a member of the senior executive leadership for almost seven years, I have strong working relationships with people and teams throughout the organisation. I am looking forward to helping shape ASX’s future as we continue our transformation and leverage our technology platform to deliver further value for customers, staff, shareholders and the investing public. I am also indebted to Dominic Stevens for ensuring ASX is in a strong financial, operational and technological position, and with considerable growth optionality when he leaves.”

Dominic Stevens will continue to serve as ASX’s CEO until 31 July 2022 and following Lofthouse’s promotion, he will continue to advise and assist ASX with its transition until 30 September, after which he intends to retire.

“Dominic has driven the execution of our strategy to build an exchange for the future. He has done a great deal to contemporise the organisation, improve the resilience and functionality of our operating platforms, position ASX to capitalise on new growth opportunities and lift the experience for our customers,” added Roche.

“Under Dominic’s leadership, ASX has become a stronger, more performance-driven company, which consistently delivers solid financial results.”