Rich Ricci and Bob Diamond eye up investment in new exchange

FORMER Barclays executives Rich Ricci and Bob Diamond could be reunited as investors in an upstart stock exchange based in the City, it emerged yesterday.

Aquis, which is aiming to launch this October, yesterday confirmed that it had sold a 30 per cent stake to Warsaw Stock Exchange for £5m.

But it is the identity of some of its wealthy private backers, who will share a further 45 per cent of the equity, that has piqued the interest of City watchers.

Ex-Barclays chief executive Diamond quit the company during last year’s Libor scandal, while former investment banking boss Ricci stepped down this June.

A spokesman for Aquis declined to confirm claims, first reported by Financial News, that the men are individually looking to back the new exchange.

It is thought that Aquis is no longer looking for new investors and existing backers will be fully signed up within weeks.

Aquis, based on Cheapside in the City, aims to challenge what it perceives to be an existing European duopoly of national exchanges and BATS Chi-X Europe. It was founded last year by Alasdair Haynes, the former chief executive of Chi-X Europe who left when the firm was sold in 2011.