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ASX/SFE Merger eventuates

The merger of ASX and SFE took effect on 25 July, creating a A$5.5 billion company with about 25,000 shareholders and a key role enabling and underpinning the national economy.

The new Managing Director and CEO, Robert Elstone, has said that completing the merger of the two companies was an obvious priority, but that it would not be done at the expense of customers or ongoing business.

As the CEO of SFE for the past six years, he is familiar with issues confronting exchanges. “The real challenge will be that both exchanges have got an awful lot on their plate anyway, quite separate from the merger, so in that sense it’s going to be a frantically busy 6-to-12 month period while the two companies come together,” he told media.

“The first task is getting to know senior management and the people at ASX. That’s a huge obligation and I have to do that; that’ll be the early priority. Forming a view on the pace at which the integration of the two companies takes place, and yet make sure the customers don’t suffer any disruption to service levels or the quality of service generally. So I suspect it’ll probably take me the balance of this year to form a view on what pace we need to address the implementation of the merger.”

In the meantime, the transition to the Integrated Trading System continues, as does the ongoing commitment to market integrity through the recently separated ASX Markets Supervision subsidiary, which Mr Elstone endorsed.

He also unveiled an interim revamped management structure combining Group Executives from each organisation, foreshadowed premises integration by October 2006 and outlined a timetable for closer integration once the second phase of the merger commences in the first half of calendar year 2007.

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