LBMA appoints Johnson Matthey official as new chairman

July 11 Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:05pm EDT

July 11 (Reuters) - An official at British platinum refiner Johnson Matthey has become chairman at the London Bullion Market Association as the industry body oversees the overhaul of century-old precious metals pricing systems amid intense regulatory scrutiny.

The LBMA said in a statement that Grant Angwin, general manager at the U.S. operations of Johnson Matthey PLC in Salt Lake City, was elected to succeed David Gornall who has ended his three-year tenure.

Angwin becomes chairman as the LBMA coordinates efforts to find a new global pricing benchmark for silver to replace the existing 117-year-old price-setting mechanism, or "fix", when it is dismantled in August.

He has been a member of the LBMA's management committee since 2011 and joined Johnson Matthey more than 25 years ago.

Separately on Friday the LBMA said that CME Group and Thomson Reuters have won the closely fought contest to operate an electronic benchmark for the silver market. Industry participants expect changes to follow with the century-old gold fix and the platinum and palladium fixes.

With increased attention from regulators in the wake of benchmark manipulation in other markets, the current operator, London Silver Market Fixing Ltd, said in May it would stop running the daily call.

Gornall, the outgoing chairman who is also global head of precious metals trading at Paris-based Natixis, said in a statement it was an "all too common misconception" that the LBMA decided on market benchmarks for precious metals.

"The LBMA's involvement in the current consultation process is working with its members and other stakeholders to determine a reference price setting mechanism that is suitable for all parties," Gornall said. "To be clear, the LBMA is acting as a conduit and facilitator but not as a decision maker." (Reporting By Barani Krishnan; Editing by Josephine Mason and Grant McCool)

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