London Stock Exchange CEO Rolet steps down

Departure comes amid clashes with leading shareholder

CEO of the London Stock Exchange Xavier Rolet has stepped down with immediate effect, blaming “unwelcome publicity” amid a mounting row over succession plans for the top job.

The London Stock Exchange said its chief executive, Xavier Rolet, has left after the bourse's clash with a top shareholder dragged in the Bank of England.

LSE chairman Donald Brydon has indicated he will not stand for re-election at the annual general meeting in 2019, the exchange said in a statement on Wednesday. LSE Chief Financial Officer, David Warren, will replace Rolet on an interim basis.

The exchange faces a tricky time as Britain navigates its departure from the European Union and risks losing a chunk of its derivatives clearing business to the continent.

Rolet had already announced he would step down at the end of 2018, but shareholder TCI, an activist hedge fund, had accused Brydon of pushing him out and called for a general meeting to be held to oust Brydon.


TCI had no comment on the announcement.

Rolet is credited with turning the LSE into a more solid, diversified exchange group, but the Frenchman and former investment banker was unable to seal a merger with Deutsche Boerse.

TCI had called on the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority to replace Brydon, but the Bank of England Governor Mark Carney indicated on Tuesday that the LSE's succession plans should remain in place, effectively sealing Rolet's fate.

Rolet said in the LSE statement there has been a “great deal of unwelcome publicity, which has not been helpful to the Company.”

“At the request of the Board, I have agreed to step down as CEO with immediate effect. I will not be returning to the office of CEO or director under any circumstances. I am proud of what we have achieved during the past eight and a half years,” Rolet said.

– Reuters