DR Virginia Mumford, who played an instrumental role in setting up the territory's index options market, will leave the Hongkong Futures Exchange on June 1 to join Jardine Fleming. She said the decision to leave her position as head of research and product development at the exchange after 18 months was difficult, but it was the right time now that the options market was up and running. ''I think it's certainly been a really interesting time but the exchange now requires a different type of skill set, someone more on the marketing side,'' she said. ''It's a good break to do something else.'' Dr Mumford said her new position at Jardine Fleming would be derivatives-related and involve product development and the creation of educational programmes. She would also work with the company's brokerage business and Robert Fleming in London, which has a large institutional client base. ''Like everyone else, Jardine Fleming has realised derivatives are here to stay in Hongkong,'' she said. ''I think options and futures and other types of derivative products are part of the product mix, so you need to teach the skills and develop new products.'' Dr Mumford's appointment reflects Jardine Fleming's decision to expand its involvement in futures and options. Jardine Fleming Futures director John Knox said it was a major coup attracting someone with Dr Mumford's expertise and knowledge of the markets in both London and Hongkong. ''She has a lot of experience in futures and options and we'll be putting that to good use,'' he said, adding that Jardine Fleming made the first trade on the options market when it opened on March 5. Dr Mumford, who was originally a general medical practitioner, spent six years trading derivatives in London, including a stint as a market-maker on the London Trade Options Market. She came to Hongkong in late-1990 and worked for International Securities Consulting before joining the futures exchange last year. ''I met [futures exchange chief executive] Gary Knight and I just decided it would be an interesting challenge to work on a project starting from nothing and getting it up to scratch,'' she said. A large part of Dr Mumford's time was spent co-ordinating the options market's development before it opened. ''We made sure everyone was in the right direction and it took a lot of time and effort,'' she said, adding that her tenure with the exchange had been exhausting but very satisfying.