Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams is the Markets and Banking reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Business Leader of the Year 2011 Finalist: Mark Weldon

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Under chief executive Mark Weldon the NZX's value has grown from $15 million in 2002 to more than $270 million. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Under chief executive Mark Weldon the NZX's value has grown from $15 million in 2002 to more than $270 million. Photo / Mark Mitchell

When Mark Weldon steps down as the chief executive of NZX next year he will have spent a decade at the helm of the Wellington-based exchange operator.

He has been credited with developing what in 2002 was an underperforming, wholly broker-owned "one trick pony" - almost totally reliant on share trading - into a successful, publicly listed company.

Since demutualising in 2002, the exchange operator has diversified.

"Under his stewardship, NZX has grown from a small and threatened mutual exchange to a thriving information, markets and infrastructure business, with a range of integrated business lines, a healthy balance sheet and a valuable set of options for future growth," NZX chairman Andrew Harmos said when Weldon's resignation was announced in October.

NZX has seen success with its Dairy Futures market, which was launched in 2010 and was last month celebrating the milestone of having traded 10,000 lots.

And the exchange operator is ready to branch out into other kinds of derivatives, with Weldon saying earlier this month that equity futures trading would be up and running on the NZX next year.

The company's value has grown from $15 million in 2002 to more than $270 million.

Its shares, which have risen more than 43 per cent in the year to date, have been one of the best-performing NZX stocks in 2011.

Weldon, who swam for New Zealand at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, was also involved in the Government's fundraising appeal after the Christchurch earthquake in February this year.

- NZ Herald

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