Former Lehman Brothers banker Xavier Rolet has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Clara Furse as chief executive of the London Stock Exchange (LSE), according to press reports.
Citing two people familiar with the matter, The Financial Times says Rolet, 49, who most recently led Lehman's French business, is the leading candidate for the job. He could be confirmed within a month after being presented to the board by a nomination committee.
Prior to his role in France, Rolet worked at the bank's London office, handling relations with European exchanges, including the LSE. He has also sat on the exchange's strategy committee
Before joining Lehman, Rolet worked for Goldman Sachs in equity trading. He has also spent time at Credit Suisse First Boston and Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.
According to a separate report, in The Times, another leading candidate, Alasdair Haynes, CEO of Investment Technology Group's international business, is apparently out of the running. Haynes is leaving ITG for an unspecified venture.
In October the LSE hired a headhunter to find a successor to Furse, who has fended off a string of hostile takeovers during her eight year tenure at the helm
If appointed, Rolet will face a wave of competition from alternative execution venues such as Chi-X and Turquoise, that have emerged in the wake of MiFID.
The exchange plans to take on the competition by launching a new dark pool facility, dubbed Baikal. The project was initially set to be a joint venture with Rolet's old firm Lehman before the bank collapsed, throwing the plan into disarray.
However, it now appears back on track as a solo venture, slated for launch in the first quarter with another former Lehman staffer, John Wilson, as chief executive.
Ex-Lehman banker a frontrunner to lead LSE - FT