Fate uncertain for Lederman

TURQUOISE chief executive Eli Lederman’s fate is hanging in the balance after his firm yesterday confirmed its tie-up with the London Stock Exchange’s Baikal dark pool trading platform.

Lederman is understood to be in ongoing talks with the LSE over his potential role after the deal completes in February, though no decision has yet been taken on who will head up the new venture.

The issue of succession is bound to be a thorny one, with at least two hats in the ring for the position. Lederman’s counterpart at Baikal is chief executive John Wilson, who will also be vying for the job, while insiders suggest the LSE’s management could sidestep both candidates in favour of a fresh face. The stock exchange’s head of IT David Lester has already been tipped as a potential contender.

The LSE is also thought to be considering whether to bring in a professional headhunter to oversee the search, after MWM founder Anna Mann brought in Xavier Rolet as chief executive of the exchange last year.

Under the terms of the agreement announced yesterday, the LSE will take a 60 per cent stake in Turquoise. 40 per cent will be retained by the existing shareholders in the business, set up by nine investment banks – UBS, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup – in 2006.

The LSE plans to merge Turquoise with Baikal, investing around £20m in the business to expand its pan-European equity trading capabilities.

The exchange yesterday declined to comment on individual appointments at the new business, adding that the “detail has yet to be decided”.