Activist investor Sir Chris Hohn Tuesday lashed out at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group, saying that its board appears to be threatening a "character assassination" of its outgoing chief executive Xavier Rolet.
In the latest twist in the LSE soap opera over the alleged forced retirement of Rolet, Hohn called for the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to take the dramatic step of ordering the removal of LSE chairman Donald Brydon.
Hohn's hedge fund, The Children's Investment (TCI) fund, has mounted a high-profile campaign to remove Brydon and extend Rolet's contract.
Accusing the LSE board of presiding over a "corporate governance crisis", Hohn said Rolet has been prevented from telling shareholders he wants to stay on a chief executive.
Hohn wrote: "It appears to us that Xavier Rolet is being improperly threatened by the board with severe reputational damage unless he steps down [...] or publicly confirms that he does not want to remain as CEO".
"His silence speaks loud and clear to shareholders that he wants to continue," Hohn claimed.
The LSE board faces a crunch shareholder meeting, which the LSE must call within the next fortnight, to vote on a resolution put forward by Hohn to remove Brydon from his post.
The letter comes after reports that a shareholder circular announcing the meeting will set out details of incidents of a tough management style from Rolet.
The LSE did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Bank of England declined to comment. The FCA declined to comment.
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