Exchange chief criticism mounts

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CRITICISM of Peter Rawlins, the chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, has mounted steeply following an internal re- organisation of the exchange's operations.

However, a spokeswoman for the exchange said yesterday that suggestions that Mr Rawlins would resign were 'totally unfounded'. These suggestions have been circulating in the City for months but reached a new level of intensity yesterday.

Mr Rawlins has come under renewed pressure following organisational changes set out in an internal staff memorandum, which proposed five areas of activity in place of the system of three divisions introduced two years ago.

Stock Exchange staff were also told that Rod Margree, managing director of settlement services, would be returning to Barclays Bank, that Jane Barker, the finance director, would gain additional responsibilities and that a new post of markets developments director for the exchange would be created.

The memorandum adds to existing grievances both inside and outside the exchange about Mr Rawlins' style.

There are also widespread concerns about delays to Taurus, the system that will replace share certificates with electronic records, and the appointment of Andersen Consulting to run the exchange's computers.

Supporters of Mr Rawlins pointed out that he had achieved enormous change, replacing the council with a smaller board, doing away with individual membership and cutting costs.