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TASE CEO Ester Levanon Resigns

In the past two years, Levanon has unsuccessfully battled a plunge in trading volumes on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.


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 Sam Bronfeld   Ester Levanon / Photos by Tamar Mtzafi and Eyal Itzhar

/ By Irit Avissar /

Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) CEO Ester Levanon (63) has resigned against the backdrop of falling trading volumes on the market and tensions with TASE chairman Sam Bronfman. She held the job for seven years.

In her letter of resignation, Levanon said that she had not received the support of the TASE board of directors for her plan for dealing with the fall in trading volumes. “Last week, I presented the TASE board a detailed document outlining the activities taken by the TASE to boost liquidity and make trading more sophisticated. Some of the measures are now being implemented, and some are in the advanced implementation stages. There are also ideas which are in the review stage by management. Regrettably, I do not feel strong support by the board of directors for the plan.”

In the past two years, Levanon has unsuccessfully battled a plunge in trading volumes on the TASE and the drop in the number of listed companies. Criticism emerged in the capital market against the lack of substantive measures by the TASE to deal with the situation.
Relations between Levanon and Bronfeld also worsened and he argued that the declining trading volumes were fleeting and would pass, while she said that immediate corrective steps were needed.
“Globes” reported on the tensions last week, stating that Bronfeld told the TASE board that Levanon’s performance was mediocre. Although he gave her good marks on some matters, especially day-to-day management, the overall grade was mediocre.
Both Levanon and Bronfeld were lambasted over the years over their salaries. Until 2011, they received a pay hike of at least 6% a year and a bonus of six months’ salaries. Bronfeld, who holds an 80% position, earned NIS 9.3 million in 2008-12, and Levanon’s salary cost was NIS 9.6 million, including NIS 1.76 million in 2012.
Levanon held various positions at the TASE over 28 years, including CEO since 2006. She previously worked for 13 years at the Israel Security Agency, where she set up its computer system.
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