KARACHI: Richard Morin has tendered his resignation from the post of chief executive officer of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, the bourse announced on Tuesday.

The resignation was stated to have been accepted with immediate effect by the PSX board at its meeting the same day.

The exit of the first foreign CEO at the local bourse brought to an end the long lingering rigmarole that surrounded his fate since the news of his alleged breach of employment contract first surfaced.

Archer Wealth Management, a Montreal-based firm that identifies itself as ‘independent financial advisers’ had named Mr Morin as the CEO of the company and chairman of its board.

The PSX board had issued Morin a show-cause notice and in at least three hearings, Morin was unable to satisfy the board that working simultaneously for his own wealth management company along with holding his position of PSX CEO was not a breach of employment contract.

He testified to the PSX board declaring that there was no wrong doing and he had already declared his interest in the Archer Wealth Management firm at the time of his appointment.

Sources said that the board had sent the minutes of the meeting to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan for its verdict, but the apex regulator threw back the ball in the PSX court asking it to make its own decision.

In the meeting on Wednesday, the four Chinese directors were said to have voted against Morin’s ouster, while all broker directors were in the other camp; the split vote between the independent directors sealed the PSX chief’s fate.

Morin took the office of CEO PSX on Jan 11, 2018. Although stock brokers had vehemently resisted appointment of a foreign national on the key post, the Chinese representatives on the board that hold 40 per cent shares had prevailed. The local members on the board had continued to object on what they thought was the high salary and perks approved for the post.

“His experience of 30 years proved of little value to the PSX”, said one broker who pointed out that in about a year and half that he presided over the exchange, none of the promises made on his appointment were fulfilled. He was expected to bring in foreign investment, introduce new products and cross-listings and ensure technological transfer.

However, voices were also heard in favour of Morin. “He was removed as he refused to succumb to brokers’ pressure and made independent decisions” said one.

Morin did not take calls or answer messages requesting him for comments.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2019