09.04.2012
By Terry Flanagan

Crutchfield Takes Helm at NYSE Arca

NYSE Euronext said NYSE Amex Options Chief Executive Steve Crutchfield will take on the additional duties of heading up NYSE Arca Options.

Steven Crutchfield, CEO, NYSE Amex Options

Crutchfield steps into a new, broader role of head of U.S. options at NYSE Euronext. NYSE Arca had been led in a co-CEO arrangement by Amy Farnstrom, who will continue with NYSE Euronext as head of product strategy for U.S. options, and Paul Finnegan, who reportedly will be chief executive at options analysis and trading firm Livevol.

In a release sent to NYSE Arca Options traders, the exchange said the leadership change will “drive efficiency, streamline client interactions, and optimize trading and investment opportunities” for market participants who utilize NYSE Arca, as well as their clients.

“The rationale is pretty straightforward – it allows us to operate in more cohesive way,” Crutchfield, 36 years of age, told Markets Media. “The client bases of Amex and Arca are close to identical, it’s the areas of focus that are different. So in our interactions with clients, advocacy with regulators, and technology initiatives, we will be able to do that with a single team.”

“Historically if a large client had a suggestion or question on how to better serve their retail-investor customers, they had to make two phone calls and talk to two teams, which resulted in some loss of clarity,” Crutchfield continued. “This change will allow clients to communicate with us more efficiently and in a more direct, streamlined, and coordinated way. The cohesion should provide a nice opportunity for clients.”

NYSE Amex has been the fastest-growing U.S. options exchange over the past two years. The exchange had market share of 13.3% in August, good for fourth-biggest of 10 exchanges — behind Chicago Board Options Exchange (27.7%), Nasdaq OMX PHLX (19.3%), and International Securities Exchange (15.8%). NYSE Arca was the fifth-biggest U.S. options exchange, with 9.6% share.

NYSE Amex’s market share has stabilized since increasing rapidly after NYSE Euronext bought the American Stock Exchange and took over Amex Options in late 2008. Crutchfield joined NYSE Amex in April 2010.

Crutchfield reports to Joe Mecane, executive vice president for U.S. equities at NYSE Euronext. Farnstrom retains responsibility for technology initiatives as well as the San Francisco trading floor.

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