Warsaw bourse expected to see change at top as merger with Austrian rival takes shape

By bne IntelliNews June 13, 2014

Jan Cienski in Warsaw -

 

The Warsaw Stock Exchange could see a change in leadership later this month as the region's largest bourse sizes up a potential merger with smaller CEE rival, Vienna's Wiener Boerse.

The current incumbent at the WSE, Adam Maciejewski, is battling hard to keep his post but looking increasingly likely to be replaced by Pawel Tamborski - a hirsute and affable market expert who recently resigned as deputy minister of the treasury to take a stab at the exchange's top post.

A merger between Warsaw and Vienna - which controls the CEE Stock Exchange Group, running bourses in Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Ljubljana - would create a regional heavyweight, but both Warsaw and Vienna are keen to ensure that any tie-up does not damage local capital markets.

Although Maciejewski has done a solid job in the last 18 months, especially in smoothing relations with brokers frayed under the mercurial reign of his predecessor Ludwik Sobolewski, he has less political backing than Tamborski. In announcing Tamborski's resignation from the ministry, Wlodzimierz Karpinski, the treasury minister, said: “I am happy that a person with such authority among market participants would agree to undertake the challenge that is heading the largest exchange in our part of Europe.”

That makes Tamborski the overwhelming favourite to take over the WSE on June 26.

As Dagmara Leszkowicz of Polityka Insight, an analysis firm, notes: “Tamborski has major chances of taking the president's chair – the [WSE's] majority shareholder is the state treasury.”

Tamborski is also very well regarded by both institutional and individual investors and has good relations with the media and with politicians. He spent years working on the WSE as a broker and an analyst and as deputy treasury minister supervised transactions like copper miner KGHM's 2011 acquisition of Canada's Quadra FNX, as well as several high profile IPOs of state-controlled companies.

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