AIX News


AIX announces appointment of Chief Executive Officer together with two senior appointments as it prepares for launch


The Board and Shareholders of Astana International Exchange (hereinafter – AIX) is pleased to announce the appointments of Timothy Bennett as Chief Executive Officer, Arman Tastanbekov as Chief Legal Officer and Member of the Management Committee and Jean-Philippe Louvancour as Head of Regulation and Compliance of Astana International Exchange.

Mr. Bennett was most recently CEO of NZX, the operator of New Zealand’s securities and derivatives markets and provider of trade, post-trade and data services. Mr. Bennett led NZX through a period of significant organizational and regulatory change, including the replacement and upgrading of NZX’s trading and clearing systems, and the launch of 23 ETF’s through NZX Funds Management.

During his time at NZX, the New Zealand government privatized a number of state owned business, driven in part by the desire to further develop New Zealand’s capital markets as a key driver of economic growth. This experience will be invaluable as Kazakhstan embarks on a similar privatization program.

Prior to joining NZX, Mr. Bennett was a Partner with Oliver Wyman and the Boston Consulting Group in Asia. His consulting experience includes strategy and capital market development for governments and exchanges in Asia and the Middle East, and the development of commodity derivatives markets, most notably iron ore.

Mr. Bennett commented that: “I am excited by the prospect of supporting the development of Kazakhstan’s capital markets through the launch of AIX and AIFC more broadly, AIX will be developed, managed and regulated to international standards to ensure we build both domestic and global investor confidence.”

Mr. Nurlan Kussainov, Chair of AIX and CEO of AIFC, commented “AIX has undertaken a thorough global search and selection process and very pleased to have attracted a someone with Tim’s deep global experience exchange and capital markets experience to lead AIX”.

Mr. Tastanbekov has a broad experience as an international legal advisor having worked for more than 17 years as Associate and Partner for prominent international law firms and country lead counsel for a FTSE100 company. Mr. Tastanbekov is admitted to practice law in the Republic of Kazakhstan and the State of New York (USA). His practice focused on capital markets and M&A across key sectors of the economy in Kazakhstan and the region.

Mr. Tastanbekov commented: “I’m honoured and excited to be chosen for this challenging role. I look forward to working closely with AIX, AIFC, and other stakeholders to help AIX become a market of choice for Kazakhstani and international issuers.”

Mr. Louvancour has a broad international career at financial institutions, including NYSE Euronext, Societe Generale and Kleinwort Hambros. As Head of Regulation and Compliance Department he will be responsible for regulating AIX’s markets, issuers and trading members under the self-regulatory model approved by the Astana Financial Services Authority.

Mr. Louvancour commented: “I’m delighted to have been asked to lead Regulation and Compliance at AIX. My first priority will be to use my skills and experience to support the successful listing of companies and on-boarding of trading firms on AIX market. My long-term objectives are to ensure AIX to become a place of choice for worldwide investors and the reference venue for investing in Central Asia”.

The Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) In December 2015 President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the Constitutional law “On the Astana International Financial Centre” (AIFC). The aim of the AIFC is to form a leading international centre of financial services. For the first time in post-Soviet region Common law framework has been introduced in the AIFC. English is the official language of the AIFC.

The objectives of the AIFC are to attract investment into the economy through the establishment of an attractive environment for investment in the financial services, to develop local capital markets, to ensure their integration with the international capital market, and to develop markets for insurance and banking services and for Islamic financing in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Astana International Exchange (AIX). In October 2017 during the meeting of the Board of Directors of AIFC, a decision to create AIX was taken. The main strategic partners of AIX are the Shanghai Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, which provided a technical platform. Shanghai Stock Exchange and NASDAQ are among the five largest exchanges in the world. The role of the AIX is to enable domestic and regional development, through the mobilisation of domestic resources and foreign portfolio flows. In doing so, the exchange promotes good governance through its business practices.