Chief quits Betfair’s LMAX months after retail launch

THE chief executive of Betfair’s financial betting exchange LMAX has quit just three months after the platform was launched for retail investors.

Robin Osmond, a former head of global investment banking at Morgan Stanley, is leaving to “pursue other opportunities in the City”, LMAX said in a statement.

Betfair, which owns a majority 75 per cent stake after investing £25m in the start-up, said it remained “fully committed to LMAX”.

But the departure of Osmond so soon after the platform was launched for retail investors is sure to raise questions among some in the City, especially after Betfair declined to give details of LMAX’s progress when it unveiled its maiden results as a public company early last month.

Yesterday, sources close to the firm were playing down expectations for LMAX’s trading so far, insisting it was “still very early days”.

Osmond will be replaced by David Mercer, who will become interim chief executive with immediate effect. Most recently, Mercer worked at specialist forex and derivatives provider Velocity Trade.

City A.M. understands that while Betfair was happy with the technical performance of LMAX under Osmond, it felt Mercer had more appropriate commercial experience.

Prior to Velocity Trade, Mercer had spells at IFX Markets, City Index and Saxo Bank.