LSE lines up back-up boss as spat with top investor escalates

The London Stock Exchange is readying its finance boss for the top job as tensions between the group and one of its top investors over chief executive Xavier Rolet's exit reach crisis point. 
The LSE's board is lining up finance director David Warren to step in as interim head in case Mr Rolet is forced to leave suddenly, sources told the Financial Times, a day after Sir Christopher Hohn urged the Bank of England to get involved in the board battle.  
Mr Rolet's resignation emerged last month but he isn't due to leave until late next year. However Sir Christopher, whose The Children's Investment Fund owns 5pc of the exchange, is convinced that he has been forced out and wants to oust chairman Donald Brydon. 
The row escalated on Tuesday after Sir Christopher urged the Governor of the Bank of England to step in and remove the exchange's chairman, highlighting the need for a back-up boss should Mr Rolet be forced to walk at short notice. 
Mr Warren, who joined the LSE from Nasdaq in 2012, has already been touted as an obvious replacement for Mr Rolet – especially if a candidate was needed immediately or on a temporary basis. 
A spokesman for the LSE declined to comment on its contingency plans.  
LSE lines up back-up boss as spat with top investor escalates

Sir Chris Hohn, the founder of The Children's Investment Fund, has been on a vicious campaign to push out the LSE's chairman and keep outgoing chief executive Xavier Rolet in the role after claiming he was forced out

 Sarah Brook
In yesterday's letter, Sir Christopher warned Mr Brydon not to "undertake a character assassination" of the exchange's chief executive and argued that the relationship between the pair has "deteriorated to such an extent that it is impossible for you both to have an effective working relationship".
He has already called for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to get to the bottom of Mr Rolet's departure after claiming that the Frenchman was made to sign a gagging order preventing him from speaking up.
This has been of the most bitter and public City spats in recent memory, with Sir Christopher's latest message harking back to a bygone era in which it was said "one twitch of the Governor's eyebrow" could censure bad behaviour in the City. 
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