Directors at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group have appointed City law firm Schillings ahead of a vital shareholder meeting to decide a battle between its board and an activist investor.
It emerged today that the law firm was appointed a fortnight ago, as hedge fund manager Sir Chris Hohn mounted a campaign to extend the tenure of LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet.
Schillings specialises in managing “crisis” situations, including “reputation problems”, according to its website.
Hohn alleges the LSE board is forcing Rolet out of the firm without proper cause in a move which will damage value for shareholders. He further claims Rolet has signed a non-disclosure agreement covering his departure.
Hohn, the manager of The Children’s Investment (TCI) fund, has requested a shareholder meeting to vote on a motion to remove LSE chairman Donald Brydon and offer Rolet a contract extension. TCI was able to requisition the meeting owing to its stake of more than five per cent.
Investors are awaiting the publication of a shareholder circular from the LSE in which it will announce the meeting, and potentially give some details on the circumstances surrounding Rolet’s departure. However, sources close to the LSE have downplayed the significance of the circular.
Meanwhile the search for a replacement for Rolet is continuing, with recruitment specialists Egon Zehnder International appointed to lead the hunt, according to Sky News.
The LSE declined to comment.