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Magnus Böcker: Sweden’s merger master turns his talents to Asia

Magnus Böcker has had a string of successful securities exchange mergers. Now chief executive of the Singapore Exchange, he hopes to conclude a fruitful merger with the Australian Stock Exchange. Chris Wright reports.

IN EARLY 2003, Magnus Böcker was the deputy chief executive of Stockholm-based market technology provider OM Technology. Had you told him then that within five years he would be president of Nasdaq OMX, the largest exchange company in the world and the product of an eight-way consolidation spearheaded by him, he would probably have laughed. Had you suggested that he would then ditch that dream job to try to engineer an audacious merger between the stock exchanges of Sinegapore and Australia, that wouldn’t have made a lot of sense either. The journey from Stockholm to Singapore, where he is the exchange’s chief executive, is the story of surely the most influential single player in stock exchange consolidation worldwide. A cheerful, engaging Swede, Böcker doesn’t come across as a bull-headed dealmaker when Euromoney meets him on the 29th floor of the Singapore Exchange building on Shenton Way. But the SGX/ASX merger will be his 10th exchange combination, if it comes off.

It might just be the trickiest, too. At the time of writing, the ambitious bid to combine the two exchanges under a single holding company, and to bring European-style exchange consolidation to the Asia-Pacific region, is mired in a fierce political battle.

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