Markets Pay Tribute to Böcker

Shanny Basar

The Swedish Böcker became president of Nasdaq OMX Group in 2008 when the US exchange group merged with Stockholm-based OMX.

Adena Friedman, president and chief executive of Nasdaq, wrote a tribute:

She said: “For those of us who knew Magnus well, there are so many wonderful things to say about him.  He was incredibly vivacious, happy, and optimistic – he came to work ready to tackle any issue and ready to lift up everyone’s spirits.  He also was extremely intelligent and creative, which he applied to every opportunity and challenge that we faced.  He is the reason that OMX rose to its great heights and became a global technology player.  He was a tremendous partner to all of his colleagues at Nasdaq and helped elevate our business meaningfully during his tenure here.  He had tremendous generosity of spirit, and he would help anyone who ever asked.  He was truly a one-of-a-kind friend and colleague.

He leaves behind three sons all of whom will carry on his wonderful personality and energy.

Throughout his ordeal, he remained as optimistic and engaging as ever, and his spirit never wavered.  At Nasdaq, we are all truly heartbroken by the news. We will miss him very much.”

Walt Lukken, president and chief executive of FIA, also tweeted:

Böcker left Nasdaq in 2009 to become chief executive of SGX, Singapore Exchange Limited. Bob Greifeld, then chief executive of Nasdaq OMX, said at the time: “Magnus built a ground-breaking, successful exchange and technology company in OMX, and he has played an integral role in the successful merger of Nasdaq OMX. We are grateful for his valuable contributions over the last 18 months, including executing on our successful integration as well as his achievements in moving our listings and market technology business forward.”

At SGX Böcker expanded the product range and installed a new trading platform. However there were trading suspensions in 2014 due to system failures and Böcker stepped down in 2015 when his contract expired. His proposed merger in 2011 between SGX and ASX, the Australian exchange group, was also blocked by regulators.

SGX said in a statement: “We would like to express our deepest condolences on the passing of Magnus Böcker. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult period. Magnus led SGX from 2009 to 2015 and was a driving force for change. Everyone who has interacted and worked side-by-side with him have gel him in high regard. We will remember him for his infectious optimism, fresh insights, and energetic approach to just about everything, from cars to the exchange business and his belief in SGX. Magnus will be greatly missed.”

David Gerald, founder, president & chief executive of  the Securities Investors Association (Singapore), said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the demise of our Honorary Chairman, Mr Magnus Böcker. In spite of his setback in health, when he found out he was well following the diagnosis and treatment of his cancer, he readily responded to our call to join SIAS as our Honorary Chairman on 1st February 2017. His first job was to meet the Management Committee at a retreat on 27th February 2017 to listen to our strategic plans and objectives. He had himself some suggestions, in particular, he was interested in SIAS pursuing an independent funding model and wanted to help us achieving that. However, sadly he has been suddenly taken away.

I was personally interacting with him when he was the Chief Executive of SGX on issues and initiatives impacting on the retail investors. He was genuinely concerned about the small investors. He liked what we were doing at SIAS and always told me that SIAS was important to him and to our capital markets. He was responsible for increasing SGX’s support, to some extend, fund our investor education programmes and activities.

One thing about him was his sense of humour which he brought to every meeting, always was cheerful and smiling. Even when correcting us, he was gentle and careful in how he was putting his views across. It was difficult to say no to him.

His achievements at SGX, to bring SGX as a best-in-class exchange in the region, whilst his initiatives were good for the investors, not all of it were completely welcomed by all stakeholders; especially the introduction of continuous all day trading. Mr Böcker was also a strong advocate for advancing corporate governance, championing issues like gender diversity as Chairman of the Diversity Action Committee.

We will miss him.”

Patrick Young, said in his Exchange Invest Daily newsletter: “Tragic news for the parish, the affable former OMX and SGX CEO Magnus Böcker has died following a relapse of his cancer. RIP, a good man.”

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