Few people on Bay Street know much about Lou Eccleston. And he seems to like it that way. As the head of TMX Group Ltd., the operator of the country’s busiest stock exchanges, he sits in the middle of Canada’s clubby capital markets. But Mr. Eccleston – a 59-year-old American who took the TMX reins more than two years ago and splits his time between Toronto and Princeton Junction, N.J. – isn’t really a member of the club.
In a setting where many key characters are known for being seen, Mr. Eccleston is not. So much so that some working on the sell-side in Toronto have dubbed him “Waldo,” as in “Where’s Waldo?” In many ways, his private nature is by design. “A leader’s job is to enable success,” Mr. Eccleston says. “It’s not about you when you become a leader. It’s about the people you work with.”
The youngest of three siblings and a father of four, he is most at ease talking about his business rather than the path he took to get to the top; never mind what he likes to do in his spare time, which – after some prodding – he says includes cooking and being with his family. Put simply, he’s not the kind of boss who will ask about your weekend.
Ask the people who work closest to him – such as John McKenzie, the chief financial officer at TMX – about the difference between Lou the man and Lou the chief executive and you’ll receive a clear answer: They are one and the same.
Whether Mr. Eccleston likes it or not, his is the face of TMX, which sits at the epicentre of Canadian business. He’s managing a suite of assets that was deemed to be so vital to the country that a group of 13 Canadian financial institutions formed Maple Group and took control of TMX five years ago in a $3.8-billion takeover, thwarting a proposed merger with London Stock Exchange Group PLC.