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Robleda’s head rolls in simmering feud

Mexico's bourse looks more like a battleground these days than a financial market.

The smoke has yet to clear but heads have already started to roll, beginning with Manuel Robleda's, the exchange's president for the past nine years.

Robleda has been forced out following a simmering feud between exchange management and it shareholders over how to revive the market's sagging fortunes.

After years of being held at bay, the 25 active brokerages with seats on the board of the stock exchange won a partial victory by ousting him.

Efforts to replace him with a high-ranking brokerage executive were stymied by the government. Instead, he was replaced by Guillermo Prieto Trevino, the head of Mexico's pension fund regulator and a Harvard-trained economist.

At the heart of the dispute are competing visions of the role of an exchange in an increasingly globalised financial market.

Robleda's vision of an independently run global business clashed sharply with shareholders who see it purely as a tool to facilitate public offerings.

Robleda decided to take the market in a radically different direction. In addition to introducing electronic trading and ambitious cost-cutting measures, he spun off half-a-dozen business units in a bid to create a "profit centre".

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