ASX deputy chief, key blockchain backer resigns

One of the chief architects of the ASX’s blockchain-based CHESS replacement system, Peter Hiom, is set to leave the organisation at the beginning of July.

Hiom, who has served as the stock exchange’s deputy chief executive and group executive business over the past decade, announced he would join Motive Partners, a financial technology-focused global investment firm, as an industry partner.

ASX managing director and chief executive, Dominic Stevens, recognised Hiom’s powerful advocacy for new technology adoption at the exchange, particularly in the ASX’s pursuit of blockchain innovation.

According to Stevens, this progressive tech advocacy was “best exemplified by his leadership of the investigation and adoption of distributed ledger technology to underpin the replacement of CHESS”.

The once-in-a-generation overhaul of CHESS, the ASX’s core clearing, settlement, asset registration, and post-trade services system, was first mooted in 2015, with a multi-year prototyping and testing process determining distributed ledger (or blockchain) would provide the ideal solution to succeed CHESS.

“What we learned is that DLT enables the safe and secure sharing of private data, which in turn enables the mutualisation of services, the simplification of workflows and the ability to innovate,” Hiom said in a Q&A for the 2019 APAC Blockchain conference.

The ASX said that executive responsibility for the delivery and governance of the CHESS overhaul project would continue with chief operating officer Tim Hogben.

“Hogben has been involved in the project from the start, assuming day-to-day management and oversight when the project transitioned from the design to delivery phase in October last year,” the company said in a statement.

Originally slated for a 2021 launch, the ASX has delayed its go-live date twice owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. The project now remains on track for an April 2023 launch, it said.

In addition to his new role at Motive Partners, Hiom currently serves as a Committee Member on the National Blockchain Roadmap Steering Committee.

Hiom served nearly 15 years at the ASX, with a three-and-a-half-year stint as business development chief prior to his appointment as deputy CEO.

The ASX is yet to announce Hiom’s replacement.