Stock exchange bids cast doubt on board’s future

Link: Euronext in bid for London Stock Exchange

Any changes are likely to raise questions about the future of board members, including the current FD.

Deutsche Borse and Euronext, based in Germany and the Netherlands respectively, both have a two-tiered board structure. Non-executives sit on a supervisory board, while directors sit on an executive or managing board. The LSE currently has one board consisting of three executive directors and six non-executives.

‘It is going to be very interesting to see how the boards will be incorporated if a bid is successful,’ said one City fund manager.

Integrating the boards in the event of a deal going ahead could see a scrap for board places develop, with the battle for the financial directorship being one of the most intriguing.

If an acquisition goes ahead, the contest for the FD role should be between the LSE’s director of finance Jonathan Howell (pictured) and either Mathias Hlubek at Deutsche Borse or Serge Harry at Euronext. An outsider could also come into the mix.

The LSE board is likely to stay in place in the event of a buy-out but will probably take a subsidiary role to the board of its suitor. In this scenario, it is unclear what its role will be and whether it will still appoint an FD.

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