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LSE CFO to retire as Q3 profit jumps 14% YOY

David Warren is retiring as group CFO of London Stock Exchange Group PLC but will remain on board through the completion of the U.K. bourse's proposed $27 billion acquisition of U.S.-based financial data analytics platform Refinitiv US Holdings Inc.

Warren, who has been CFO since 2012, will officially step down at the end of 2020. He took on the role of interim CEO following the premature departure of Xavier Rolet in November 2017 amid a boardroom spat with then-chairman Donald Brydon. Months after, he downplayed the possibility of replacing Rolet permanently. LSE has since named David Schwimmer its CEO.

LSE noted that it will search globally for Warren's successor.

It comes as the bourse posted third-quarter gross profit of £529 million, up from £465 million a year ago. Total revenues in the quarter rose to £521 million from the year-ago £464 million.

Gross profit from the information services business totaled £210 million, compared with £195 million a year before. LSE's gross profit from the post-trade business under LCH Group Holdings Ltd. increased year over year to £164 million from £135 million, so did gross profit in the post-trade business under CC&G and Monte Titoli in Italy, to £37 million from £34 million.

LSE incurred cost of sales of £58 million, an increase from the year-ago £57 million.

For the nine months to Sept. 30, LSE's gross profit amounted to £1.56 billion, up on a yearly basis from £1.42 billion.

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, LSE will combine its post-trade businesses into one post-trade division to be led by Daniel Maguire, currently CEO of LCH Group. The new division — comprising LCH, CC&G and Monte Titoli and UnaVista, which is currently under the information services division — will also aim to develop additional commercial activities.

Regarding its ongoing takeover of Refinitiv, LSE established an integration management office to work on the deal. The new office will comprise senior leaders from the group and Refinitiv, headed by David Shalders, whom the bourse named chief integration officer and an executive board member. Shalders stepped down from the board of TP Icap PLC to take on the role.

The bourse also said regulatory approvals and integration planning for the Refinitiv deal are underway, adding that it remains on track to close the deal in the second half of 2020. LSE's shareholders will vote on the proposed Refinitiv takeover in November.

LSE was recently the target of an unsolicited takeover offer from Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. that valued it at roughly £32 billion but required it to drop its Refinitiv pursuit. However, its board junked the offer, with Chairman Don Robert saying he saw no strategic merit in HKEX's proposal. HKEX has since withdrawn its bid.