RJ O’Brien appoints GH Financials CEO as managing director for EMEA

New director brings to RJO over two decades worth of experience in the futures markets in Europe and globally, having previously served as CEO for GH Financials.

Independent futures brokerage and clearing firm RJ O’Brien & Associates (RJO) has appointed a new managing director, EMEA for its London-based affiliate.

Mark Phelps will take on the role, operating out of London for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, reporting to Gerald Corcoran, chairman and chief executive of RJO.

Phelps brings almost 25 years’ experience of the futures markets in Europe and globally to RJO.

He joins RJO from GH Financials, where he has served as group chief executive officer since April 2018.

In addition, Phelps has served as regional chief executive officer of GHF LLC and chairman of the board of the firm’s Hong Kong Board as a non-executive director.

Phelps joined the company in 2021 as global head of marketing and sales, where he focused on client clearing on exchanges globally and managed the sales process for offices in London, Chicago and Hong Kong, as well as the global branding.

“Mark brings outstanding executive leadership experience to our very important UK operation and our presence in EMEA, along with a deep understanding of our industry, the evolving global landscape and the importance of high-touch client service,” said Corcoran.

“I’m absolutely delighted that he’s joining our team, and I know he will play a key role in our continued global expansion.”

Phelps started his career in 1997 as an exchange pit official at what was then the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE).

In the following years he played an important role in the exchange’s migration from open outcry to electronic trading.

From 2001 to 2004, Phelps served as senior account manager for the exchange, and from 2005 to 2008, he acted as head of sales for Euronext Liffe.

Following that, beginning in late 2008 until 2011, he held various senior business development roles for NYSE Liffe. 

“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be joining RJO as the company looks to build out its global execution and clearing offering,” said Phelps.

“The firm has been one of the most successful in the industry for well over 100 years, especially in the US, and my aim will be to work closely with the entire RJO team to further raise its profile and build upon its services for clients and prospects across EMEA.”