When you are 49 year old financial executive, it is rare that 15-year old schoolgirls scream with excitement at your arrival. But that was the lucky fate of Xavier Rolet, the CEO-designate of the London Stock Exchange, when he was in Argentina earlier this year participating in the Paris-Dakhar rally.
I am not 15, nor did I scream when I first met Rolet on May 31 at a think tank weekend hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. We spoke, rather less thrillingly, about whether the “financial surprises” were over.
On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the largest in US history. Rolet, head of the American bank’s substantial holdings in France, spent the rest of the year dealing with the aftermath and is justly proud that jobs were found for nearly all the staff.