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Major LSE shareholder moves to block Xavier Rolet's departure

Major LSE shareholder moves to block Xavier Rolet's departure
Published by
The Guardian

2m read

10 November 8.47am

Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for this article's content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest. Article originally published by The Guardian.

One of the London Stock Exchange’s major shareholders has called an emergency meeting in a bid to block the surprise departure of its chief executive, Xavier Rolet, and oust its chairman instead.

The Children’s Investment Fund (TCI), which owns 5% of the LSE, requisitioned an emergency meeting calling for the removal of the LSE chairman, Donald Brydon, and an end to the search for a new chief executive.

It is also calling for Rolet to remain in office until 2021 on the same terms of employment, assuming he wants to do so.

In a letter to Brydon, the TCI founder, Sir Christopher Hohn, said Brydon had “failed to provide shareholders with any substantive basis for the removal of the chief executive”.

“Hiding behind confidentiality agreements denies shareholders the ability to review your actions and demonstrates the bad corporate governance over which you are presiding.”

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Hohn will get the chance of a face-to-face showdown with directors after accepting an offer from the LSE to address a board meeting to be scheduled for next week.

The exchange escalates an extraordinary row that began when the LSE announced in October that Rolet would depart by the end of the year, but cited only succession planning as a reason he was leaving at the age of 57.

In previous correspondence between TCI and the LSE, the stock exchange has cited “succession planning” and “corporate governance” to explain Rolet’s departure, adding that it was bound by a confidentiality agreement with its chief executive of nine years.

Earlier this week, the LSE said Rolet would be “providing input into the process to identify his successor and is focussed on his role as chief executive until his successor is appointed”.

But Hohn said a “majority” of shareholders want Rolet to stay and should be able to hear from him in person about whether he wants to do so.

TCI’s shareholding of more than 5% gives it the right to call an emergency general meeting, but the date will be determined by the LSE.

This article was written by Rob Davies from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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  • 10 November 8.47am
  • 2m read

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Article originally published by The Guardian. Hargreaves Lansdown is not responsible for its content or accuracy and may not share the author's views. News and research are not personal recommendations to deal. All investments can fall in value so you could get back less than you invest.

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