Wednesday 20 May 2009 8:00 pm

New LSE chief vows to keep market share

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THE London Stock Exchange’s (LSE) new chief executive, Xavier Rolet, yesterday vowed to fight newcomers hoping to take market share from the 200-year old institution.

Taking the reigns from Dame Clara Furse – who stepped down after eight years – Rolet said he would not rule out consolidation with other companies nor the launch of new technological platforms, saying there “was everything to play for”.

“As far as consolidation is concerned, all I can say is that I am open minded,” Rolet told CityA.M.. “If we saw an interesting opportunity, we would certainly look at it.”

Rolet’s stance contrasts with that of Furse, who notoriously defended the group against a string of hostile bids, most notably from US exchange NASDAQ.

Referring to the threat from new platforms such as Chi-X and Turquoise, Rolet said the LSE would compete.“I don’t intend to see our competition grabbing a bigger share of the market,” he said.

Rolet hinted at new technological offerings in the pipeline, and said he plans to focus on growing the group’s international distribution.

In its annual results for the year to the end of March, the exchange revealed yesterday  that it had suffered a pre-tax loss of £251m following a writ-down of £484m against its acquisition of Borsa Italiana.