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LSE CFO to Retire as Exchange Moves to Complete Refinitiv Deal

Viren Vaghela

(Bloomberg) -- London Stock Exchange Group Plc, fresh from spurning an unsolicited bid from Hong Kong, will start a global search to replace its chief financial officer as it presses ahead with a deal for data firm Refinitiv.

Chief Financial Officer David Warren will retire by the end of 2020 once the bourse’s $27 billion transaction for Refinitiv completes, the firm said alongside better than expected third-quarter results Friday. He spent eight years at the firm including a short spell as interim CEO before David Schwimmer’s appointment. Shares climbed as much as 1.6% in early London trading.

LSE faced an unwelcome distraction last month when Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. tabled a surprise takeover, taking Schwimmer away from ironing out the details of his own deal announced in August. HKEX abandoned its approach after a stern rebuke from the U.K. company and a cool reception from Beijing.

Instead, the London exchange is betting on a future driven by data, shifting away from the lumpy revenues generated by volatile stock trading. For the third quarter, LSE reported a 12% rise in total income to 587 million pounds ($754 million), helped by 19% growth at its LCH clearing business. The figure was above the 565 million-pound consensus estimate of 10 analysts provided by the company.

LSE said it has hired David Shalders, a former Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Willis Towers Watson Plc executive, to keep the Refinitiv takeover on track to complete by the end of 2020. The regulatory approvals process is underway, it said.

(Adds detail on Warren retirement in second paragraph.)

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