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Ayondo hires TradeHero co-founder Dominic Morris as CTO, interim CEO after slew of departures

CATALIST-LISTED trading platform developer Ayondo on Tuesday named Dominic Anthony Morris as chief technology officer (CTO) and concurrently the interim chief executive officer (CEO), following an exodus of senior executives in recent months.

Mr Morris, 42, will be responsible for the group’s technology systems and infrastructure. He will also manage and oversee the fintech company's overall business and activities on an interim basis, it said in a bourse filing late Tuesday night.

Mr Morris was most recently the group’s external innovation consultant since October 2018. Before that, he was head of innovation (blockchain and mobile technology) with Ayondo Asia Pte Ltd from January 2016 to October 2018.

Mr Morris is currently the CTO, director and co-founder of My Manisku Pte Ltd, also known as TradeHero, a stock market simulation mobile app for users to learn financial trading through gamification.

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He holds some 3 million ordinary shares in Ayondo and 540,000 options exercisable into 540,000 ordinary shares in the company, according to the Tuesday filing.

The nominating committee on Ayondo’s board said they received “positive feedback” from several reference checks conducted on Mr Morris.

Ayondo's previous interim CEO, Richard Mark Street, resigned in June, less than six months on the job. His predecessor, CEO Robert Lempka, had quit in January.

Mr Street’s departure also followed chief financial officer (CFO) Sean Downey’s decision to leave in February. Mr Downey, who came on board as CFO in July 2018, exited in June this year.

Pursuant to the sale of unit Ayondo Markets in June, the group’s chief operating officer, chief talent officer and general counsel, chief product officer, and chief business development officer also left in the same month.

As it no longer had a dedicated finance team to assist in the preparation of its unaudited financial results, Ayondo in August requested more time to produce the accounts for the June and September quarters. The Singapore Exchange granted it a three-month extension for the release of Q2 results to Nov 14, and a one-month extension for the Q3 results to Dec 14.

Separately, in August, Ayondo also entered into three convertible-note agreements worth up to S$9.9 million.

Shares of Ayondo have been suspended from trading since Feb 1 and were last traded at S$0.048.