HK Exchange’s Arculli plays it cool

By Rachel Armstrong
March 2, 2011

Spilling a piping cup of hot coffee down yourself in front of a room of journalists seconds before they start firing questions at you isn’t in your standard media training handbook.FINANCE-SUMMIT/
But 72-year-old Hong Kong Exchange Chairman Ronald Arculli, isn’t a man who gets easily ruffled. While the Reuters reporters went off in a frenzy bringing in tissues and mopping down the table, he just sat there keeping his cool,having not got a drop on his crisp white shirt or tie.

Aside from his role at Hong Kong Exchange, Arculli is a senior partner at law firm King & Wood, and his legal training shines through in interviews.

Asked what the exchange’s biggest weakness was – he thought for a while and then replied “I think in some ways our strength may be our weakness”.

Talking about the threat posed to Asian exchanges by the alternative trading venues starting to emerge in the region he went into a highly detailed analysis of how they’ve developed in Europe and the U.S, before cutting them down with an erudite, “but their business model doesn’t seem to propel them to great financial success”.

Arculli is a man used to prizes, he’s been named in the UK Queen’s Birthday Honours List and received Hong Kong’s highest award, the Grand Bauhinia Medal. But if he feels landing a mega-deal for his exchange could be a lasting legacy, he’s not prepared to show it yet.

“We don’t see that equity is necessary a component of any possible co-operation,” he said, when discussing potential tie-ups for the exchange.

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