LSE boss Xavier Rolet stands down after 'unwelcome publicity'

  • LSE boss Xavier Rolet stands down after 'unwelcome publicity'

LSE boss Xavier Rolet stands down after 'unwelcome publicity'

London Stock Exchange Group PLC on Wednesday said Chief Executive Xavier Rolet has agreed to step down with immediate effect at the board's request and will not return under any circumstances, following a bust up between the board and a major shareholder.

LSE also announced that chairman Donald Brydon would not seek re-election when his term runs out in 2019.

The dispute surrounding Rolet's departure from the chief executive position flared up after the LSE board announced a succession plan, but failed to give a satisfactory answer regarding Rolet's reasons for leaving.

The board has used the announcement to urge the Children's Investment Fund (TCI), which owns 5 per cent of LSE, to drop plans for a shareholder meeting to try to reprieve Mr Rolet, whose departure was announced in October. But TCI Fund Management, run by Christopher Hohn, claimed that the exchange had forced Mr. Rolet to retire, and waged an aggressive campaign to keep him in place, calling for Donald Brydon to be replaced as chairman of the exchange.

"There has been a great deal of unwelcome publicity, which has not been helpful to the company", Rolet said in a statement.

The company also said that it will honour the Rolet's remuneration payments agreed agreed in connection with his departure. Although Mr Brydon is remaining in his post now, it has been announced that he will not be standing for re-election in 2019. TCI declined to comment.

Mr Brydon and the board "believe that at that point it would be in shareholders' interests to have a new team at the helm to steer the future progress of the company", the firm said.

Rolet is credited with turning the LSE into a diversified exchange group by acquiring a controlling stake in LCH, one of the world's biggest clearing houses, and expanding the bourse's activities in stock indexes. UBS has a "neutral" rating on LSE shares. Mr Rolet, a Frenchman who grew up in Algeria, may still get a bonus for 2017, the company said. It instead called for the ejection of chairman Brydon.

The LSE said if TCI does not withdraw its call for a shareholder meeting, it will publish a circular no later than November 30 confirming among other things the date of the general meeting at which the proposed resolution or resolutions will be put.