The Nasdaq stock market said Friday it is shutting down its Montreal office and will run its Canadian operations from New York and Chicago.

Helen Kearns, president of Nasdaq Canada since 2001, will depart the stock market to pursue other opportunities.

Kearns is being replaced by Adam Nunes, the director of strategy for Nasdaq's transactions services. Nunes is based in New York.

The first phase of the so-called "Nasdaq North" began in November of 2001, when investment dealers in Quebec began trading Nasdaq-listed stocks on the main U.S. market from desktop terminals in their offices.

At the time, Nasdaq Canada was seen as a direct challenge to the Toronto Stock Exchange and its supremacy of Canadian capital markets.

The TSE was highly critical of the Nasdaq Canada expansion when it was first announced, saying it wouldn't provide investors with any significant advantages.

However, the proposed Nasdaq Canada market was put on indefinite hold in October of 2002.

The proposed system would have enabled trading in Canadian and U.S. dollars, which would give Canadian companies the opportunity to list exclusively on Nasdaq Canada.