Les Male resigns as chief executive of DGCX

Les Male resigns as chief executive of DGCX

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Les Male, the chief executive of Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, has resigned from that role in a surprise move that has left the Gulf market looking for a replacement.

Male, who joined DGCX as CEO in early 2018 from Nasdaq, resigned earlier this month, according to sources.

DGCX said in a note to members that its chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem will run the exchange as CEO on an interim basis until a new chief is found.

DGCX said in the note seen by Global Investor: “This is to inform you that Les Male, chief executive officer, DGCX and Dubai Commodities Clearing Corporation (DCCC) has decided to step down for personal reasons to pursue other ventures.”

DGCX said Male will work with Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, the group that runs DGCX, “to assist with the transition”. The exchange also said a new chief executive officer of DGCX will be announced in due course.

DGCX added: “We thank Les for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavours.”

The resignation draws a line under Male’s tenure as chief executive which began in February 2018 when he replaced former DGCX chief Gaurang Desai.

Male joined DGCX from Nasdaq Commodities where he was a managing director and head of European sales for almost four years.

Before Nasdaq, Male was for nearly two years a senior director of energy products at US exchange CME Group.

Male has overseen a period of expansion at DGCX, which now offers currency, energy and metals futures contracts.

He began in early 2018 by pledging a focus on the Gulf market and backed this up by launching the region’s first physically backed Sharia-compliant gold contract.

Male said in mid-2018 he was keen to expand the business geographically, and attract new members and clients.

In early 2020, DGCX was approved by the Dubai regulator to offer clearing and risk management services to other exchanges, in a sign of its growing international ambitions.

In August 2020, DGCX signed a landmark technology deal with Nasdaq that Male said at the time would enable the Gulf market to move to “the next stage of the development of DGCX”.

DGCX applied in November 2020 to the Israeli regulator to onboard Israeli firms for the first time following the Abraham Accords signed in August that year by the United Arab Emirates, the US and Israel.

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