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May 17, 2011 2:43 am
Although the Maple Group’s bid for TMX threatens to scupper the London Stock Exchange’s proposed merger with the Canadian exchanges group, at least LSE chief Xavier Rolet has had time for a few jokes.
Asked at a panel discussion at Cass Business School for career advice for students on Monday, Mr Rolet caused amusement with his reply: “Perhaps they can have my job if they want.”
Mr Rolet shared the stage with Richard Gnodde – the Goldman Sachs International co-chief who this week added co-head of investment banking to his name – and Devin Wenig, boss of Thomson Reuters Markets, while Joaquín Almunia, the EU’s competition commissioner, gave a keynote speech on “competition in wholesale financial markets”.
At one point in his talk, Mr Almunia urged Thomson Reuters to work with regulators for a “speedy resolution” of an inquiry into its instrument code technology, prompting Mr Wenig to give a salute and reply: “Noted Mister Commissioner!”
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Although developments surrounding TMX and the possibility of lost fees cast a shadow on bonus prospects for bankers advising the LSE, they are probably not feeling too gloomy.
Led by Morgan Stanley’s deal supremo Simon Robey and Barclays Capital’s Mark Warham, they are likely to be heartened by the LSE’s potential need for a defence team if the TMX deal collapses and the LSE becomes prey. Investors already seemed to be anticipating this on Monday, with LSE shares nearly 7 per cent higher.
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In at the deep end
Having started at the International Monetary Fund last month, former Department for International Development permanent secretary Nemat Shafik has hardly had time to get her feet under the desk as deputy managing director of the Washington-based organisation before the arrest of her boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn .
The Egypt-born Ms Shafik is holding the IMF fort with John Lipsky, as she represents the fund at meetings of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels.
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New De Beers boss Philippe Mellier, who will be based in London for the time being, will probably not feel too homesick with a flock of French executives residing in the same city.
The former Alstom Transport head has René Médori, finance director of De Beers’ top shareholder Anglo American, to show him his favourite watering holes. Other leading French executives include Prudential chief Tidjane Thiam, Inchcape boss André Lacroix, and Guy Berruyer, Sage chief.
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Fit pay packet
Virgin Active’s global revenues and earnings reported a steady rise last year, but a filing with Companies House this week reveals chief Matthew Bucknall‘s pay tripled from £452,945 in 2009 to £1.3m ($2.1m) last year.
That dwarfs the low-to-mid six figures earned in 2009 by Colin Wagget, Mr Bucknall’s counterpart at private equity-owned Fitness First. The private equity-owned group – which has yet to file its 2010 annual report – has about 550 clubs, while Virgin has 194. Virgin attributes the steep rise mostly to a one-off bonus for Mr Bucknall after last year’s debt refinancing.
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Named by George Osborne at the annual Google Zeitgeist conference as an adviser on digital government and governance, Beth Noveck, who led President Barack Obama’s open government initiative tweeted: “Chancellor says UK 2 B ‘world leader in open data’ and ‘open source policymaking’. Excited to help!”
The 39-year-old law professor at New York Law School left her post as US deputy chief technology officer for open government this year. The author of Wiki-Government, on how policy-making needs to change in the internet age, Ms Noveck will work alongside Martha Lane Fox, the UK government’s digital tsar, to harness technology to open up policymaking to the public via the internet.
The government also wants to disclose some of the data stored in government servers, such as performance figures for GPs, schools and the police.
A graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School, Ms Noveck holds a PhD from the University of Innsbruck. An Anglophile who studied at Christ Church, Oxford as a Rotary Foundation fellow, Ms Noveck visits London every year. She has a one-and-a-half-year-old son, referred to as “baby open gov” as he was born a week late, allowing her to launch the US open-data initiative.
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