LSE in turmoil as chief executive quits

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The Independent Online

The London Stock Exchange was thrown deeper into turmoil yesterday when Gavin Casey, the chief executive, quit his £600,000-a-year job because of a vote of no confidence at the Exchange's annual general meeting on Thursday.

The London Stock Exchange was thrown deeper into turmoil yesterday when Gavin Casey, the chief executive, quit his £600,000-a-year job because of a vote of no confidence at the Exchange's annual general meeting on Thursday.

He is the first senior boardroom casualty since a £800m hostile bid by OM Gruppen, a Swedish technology company, last month. The bid led to the Exchange scrapping a plan hatched earlier this year to merge with the Frankfurt Stock Market, to create a European Super Stock Exchange.

Speaking from his home in London last night, Mr Casey, 53, defended his record in the past four years, in which he turned the Exchange into a successful profit-making company.

But he accepted that, in the circumstances, "it was only proper that I should stand down straight away". He added: "It is sad to see people undermining their own business in this way."

His departure leaves the Exchange with a gaping hole in its boardroom team, and at a highly sensitive time. The Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, the US technology exchange, are also working with investment bankers on their own plans to seek control of Europe's premier Exchange.

The retail stockbrokers who took full advantage of Thursday's shareholder meeting to vent their anger to the Stock Exchange board said that other heads would have to roll.

Charles Peel, a leading retail broker who has know Mr Casey for more than 25 years, said he was being made a scapegoat for failures that "went wider than one individual".

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