Top LSE investor ramps up revolt to oust chairman and keep CEO

Activist shareholder Sir Chris Hohn has today called an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) as part of his bid to remove London Stock Exchange (LSE) chairman Donald Brydon.

City sources said that TCI's effort to oust Mr Brydon could, however, be delayed or abandoned altogether amid renewed deliberations in the LSE's boardroom about how to end the freakish stand-off between its chief executive, Xavier Rolet, and the rest of the board.

It will be focused on ending the search for a new chief executive, keeping Mr Rolet in the role until 2021 subject to his consent and voting on whether chairman Donald Brydon should leave, filings show.

A source close to LSE shareholder Egerton Capital said the hedge fund would back TCI in a resolution for Rolet to remain at the company.

The LSEG last month announced Mr Rolet would be standing down in 2018 after almost a decade at the helm, during which time its stock market value has soared from £800 million to almost £14 billion.

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.

TCI said the LSE chairman was "hiding behind confidentiality agreements".

TCI has spent the last few days discussing the situation with other LSE shareholders, and believes it is gathering significant support for its conviction that Mr Brydon should step down.

The LSE said it has followed the "proper process" to replace Mr Rolet.

"The FCA was kept informed throughout the process and emphasised the importance of the plan for an orderly succession".

Mr Rolet's tenure has seen the LSE seal a string of acquisitions, although it was marred by the recent failed attempt at a £21 billion merger with German rival Deutsche Borse to create a European trading powerhouse after it was blocked by the European Commission in March.

A spokesman for the LSE declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

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