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Brian Williamson, Chairman, Liffe

"If anyone can rescue Liffe, he can." That seems to be the word on Brian Williamson, who in July put his initial reluctance to one side and agreed to become the London International Financial Futures & Options Exchange's first full-time - and salaried - chairman.

Debonair, affable and adventurous, Williamson is known to relish a challenge. He has also focused the City's attention on the need for change.

As one of Liffe's founders in 1982, and the man whom many credit with its early success, he has a plentiful supply of goodwill to draw on. The Liffe board - not noted of late for singing from the same hymnbook - voted him in unanimously.

He has signed on for a three-year stint but he will need to act fast to revive the exchange's fortunes. Earlier this year Liffe suffered the humiliating loss of its key futures contract on German Bunds to German rival Deutsche Terminbörse (DTB). He has taken over at a time when many are questioning London's future as financial capital of Europe.

As one of the most experienced and authoritative figures in the London derivatives industry, Williamson is well equipped for the task ahead.

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