Paul Hilgers will be the new CEO of Optiver, replacing Jelle Elzinga who announced this summer to retire on January 1st 2014. The German Hilgers is currently head of Optiver Australia. He previously worked for Van der Moolen in Amsterdam and Fortis Clearing in Sydney. Johan Kaemingk will stay in the board but will focus on risk management.
Hilgers started playing in the Dutch orange jersey twenty-five years ago. He started as market maker for AOT (Amsterdam Options Traders) in Germany in 1992, trading the German and Swiss option markets. From 1997 to 2003 he was Managing Director for Van der Moolen Germany, but moved to the head office in Amsterdam.
He stayed there for two years till 2004. He wasn’t afraid to make some bold decisions and fired some traders. Hence, not everybody has sweet memories (nl) about him – but then again, when you want to stay friends with everyone you shouldn’t become a manager.
After leaving Van der Moolen he joined Fortis Clearing Asia Pacific, before he finally switched to Optiver in 2007. Optiver has a reputation for only hiring fresh graduates, but at this level they seem to have other priorities. He was promoted to CEO of Optiver Asia Pacific in 2010. Hilgers completed Harvard in 2012.
Canard – almost
This year I almost published a canard on the matter, suggesting Australian head of trading Baydon Fischer would be the next boss in Amsterdam. After all, he sold his five bedroom five badroom residence in Sydney and he was about to be promoted within Optiver to a high position outside Australia. Connecting some dots created a scoop, but turned out he moved to China instead of Amsterdam. And besides, his Facebook pictures didn’t make it a likely successor of Mr Correct, Jelle Elzinga. Irony is I even checked it with Paul Hilgers (who gave a friendly no-comment, of course).
Still unknown whether he will stay with CEO CookOff 2014. Hope it was this TV show which arranged this professional portrait for him, a boyband like celebrity picture. At least it’s a lot better than this mugshot in 2011.