Robert Gilmore, former deputy chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), will take over from retiring Hong Kong Futures Exchange chief executive Ivers Riley, senior regulatory sources say. Sources involved in the selection of the new chief yesterday confirmed the exchange had held discussions with Mr Gilmore and added he was 'very likely' to get the job. They said the contract had yet to be signed but indicated an announcement confirming Mr Gilmore's appointment would be made within days. Mr Gilmore is currently in the United States. The position needs to be sanctioned by the SFC's advisory committee. Senior SFC sources said the regulator had yet to receive an application from the exchange, but added no opposition to the proposed appointment was expected from within the commission. 'I think his [Mr Gilmore's] experience is very suitable for the job and the commission has no opposition to the appointment,' a source said. After Mr Gilmore has accepted the post, he will work as chief executive-designate for six months with Mr Riley during which time he will meet the futures community and familiarise himself with the exchange's operations. The market had expected Mr Riley's successor to be Chinese, but Mr Riley said earlier the selection was based on international experience and not nationality. Mr Gilmore was executive director of the SFC from 1989 to 1995, in charge of the supervision of markets division, and had been deputy chairman of the commission for the past three years. He has worked in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange concentrating on option markets. He supported the futures exchange's introduction of stock futures in 1994. He left the commission in 1995 and returned to the US.