A 20-year Goldman Sachs veteran landed the top job at the London Stock Exchange

David SchwimmerLondon Stock ExchangeDavid Schwimmer.

  • Former Goldman Sachs banker David Schwimmer is taking up the role of London Stock Exchange CEO in August.
  • He replaces Xavier Rolet, who left last November amid a shareholder battle.

LONDON – David Schwimmer – no, not that one – is the new CEO of the London Stock Exchange.

The LSE announced on Friday that former Goldman Sachs banker Schwimmer, 49, will take up the role at the start of August.

Schwimmer, who shares a name with the actor who played Ross from Friends, spent 20 years at Goldman, most recently as global head of market structure and global head the investment bank’s of metals and mining division.

Schwimmer also served as chief of staff to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein when Blankfein was COO at the bank and Schwimmer has spent time in Moscow.

LSE chairman Donald Brydon said in a statement: “David is a leader with great experience in the financial market infrastructure sector, which he has been closely involved in throughout his investment banking career, as well as capital markets experience in both developed and emerging markets.

Brydon praised Schwimmer’s “robust intellect” and said he was chosen after a “comprehensive global search.”

Investors are relatively unmoved by his appointment: LSE shares are up just 0.24% after 25 minutes of trading in London.

Schwimmer called the job is an “honour and a privilege” and said: “Having worked with exchanges and other market infrastructure companies for much of the past 20 years, I have been impressed by its strong track record of partnering with customers to deliver innovative solutions.

“LSEG has multiple opportunities for further attractive growth across its market-leading capital formation, information services and post-trade businesses. I look forward to working alongside the Group’s highly capable management team to continue to deliver value for its customers, employees and shareholders.”

Schwimmer takes over from David Warren, who was serving as the interim chief executive after the controversial exit of long-standing CEO Xavier Rolet last year.

LSE first announced in late October that Rolet planned to step down as CEO by December 2018. Sir Christopher Hohn, the CEO of major LSE investor The Children’s Investment (TCI) Fund, became suspicious when Rolet said he couldn’t answer questions as to why he had decided to leave.

Hohn then alleged that LSE chairman Donald Brydon was trying to force Rolet out, claiming Brydon was using a threat to publish a dossier on Rolet’s behaviour as leverage. Hohn, whose TCI Fund owns 5% of LSE, called for a shareholder vote on firing Brydon and keeping Rolet in position.

Rolet eventually left “with immediate effect” in late November after “unwelcome publicity.” Brydon said he would step down as chair in 2019 after a new CEO was found.

Schwimmer will receive a salary of £775,000 ($US1.1 million), plus a bonus of up to 225%. He will also receive a long-term incentive plan of 300% of his salary that will span a five-year period, as well as a cash allowance equivalent to 15% of his salary in lieu of pension, unspecified relocation and housing allowances, and just over £1 million next March in lieu of payments he would have received from his former employer.

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