Yossi Beinart, an Israel who heads Chicago's North American Derivatives Exchange, or Nadex, was chosen late Thursday to replace Ester Levanon as CEO of the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, the bourse announced.
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Beinart was chosen by the TASE board of directors among three finalists for the post, which Levanon will be leaving at the end of the year. One of the three, Jacob Rosen, a former Bank Hapoalim deputy CEO, withdrew his candidacy after it was revealed that his daughter is employed at the bourse. The third candidate was Dan Laluz, a former chairman of Migdal Capital Markets.
"He brings a new vision and the requisite experience and skills to cope with the great challenges TASE is facing," Ron Malka, interim chairman of the TASE's board of directors, said in a statement.
Beinart is accepting a challenging assignment. The TASE has been grappling with thin liquidity, poor performance and growing numbers of companies choosing to delist. In recent months, it also lacked a permanent leadership.
Levanon announced her resignation last July after seven years as CEO, hinting that she failed to get adequate backing from the board to fix the bourse's problem. Ten days later, Chairman Sam Bronfeld also quit after Shmuel Hauser, the chairman of the Israel Securities Authority, leveled severe criticism on his performance.
After Levanon announced her plans to step down, a search committee of external directors headed by Malka was formed, and included Linda Ben Shoshan, Gitit Guberman, Itzhak Halamish and Bracha Litvak as well as Bank Hapoalim representative, Zeev Chayu. The search process was accompanied by a stream of anonymous leaks to the media disparaging various candidates in the running.
"The TASE is a central and significant pillar of Israel’s capital market and economy, and I believe that together with the TASE staff, its management and board of directors, we will successfully handle the challenging missions ahead,” Beinart said in a statement issued by the TASE.
Beinart has been CEO of Nadex since 2008. Under his leadership, the exchange's volume grew 25-fold "albeit from a very small base," according to a resume provided by the TASE. Before that he was director of technology for IG Group, a financial company, and prior to that held a similar post a Portero, an online market for luxury goods.
He received a bachelors in computer science from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1986.