Leaver, who has been chief operating officer since 1 May 2006, replaces outgoing CEO Gary King.

Since the exchange’s launch in June 2007, the market has traded more than 400 million barrels of crude oil.

In August 2007, the DME sold a 20 per cent stake in the company to four private companies: US investment banks Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs; the UK/Dutch Shell Group; and Vitol, a Swiss oil trader.