Ex-London Bourse Chief Xavier Rolet Is Said to Plan Fintech SPAC
(Bloomberg) -- Xavier Rolet, the former head of London Stock Exchange Group Plc, is planning to launch a blank-check company targeting financial technology investments, people familiar with the matter said.
He plans to seek about $300 million by listing a special purpose acquisition company in the U.S., according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Rolet could reveal plans for the listing as soon as the next few days, the people said.
The SPAC will be one of the most high-profile listings to come to market since a regulatory review of accounting standards used by blank-check companies led to a slowdown in new offerings. Credit Suisse Group AG is advising on the planned IPO, according to the people.
Rolet left the LSE in 2017 after a public dispute between the board and activist investor Chris Hohn. During his tenure, Rolet led a series of successful deals that gave the bourse operator control of the world’s largest clearinghouse and made it one of the biggest financial index compilers. He became chief executive officer of billionaire Michael Hintze’s London-based hedge fund firm CQS in early 2019 before abruptly leaving a year later.
Serge Harry, who was one of Rolet’s key lieutenants at the LSE and later served as deputy chief executive officer of CQS, will also have a role at the blank-check company, one of the people said. The SPAC will seek investments in areas including fintech and quantum computing, an area Rolet has been vocal about in the past, the people said.
Rolet and a representative for Credit Suisse declined to comment, while Harry couldn’t immediately be reached.
As an outspoken financial industry veteran, Rolet often expresses his views publicly. His comments have ranged from his former employer to quantum computing to Extinction Rebellion, the radical climate change movement whose members have blocked traffic in London and glued themselves to jetliners. He’s talked about his personal interests, including the care of some 50,000 bees at his vineyard in Provence, France.
Rolet is already on the board of another blank-check company, Golden Falcon Acquisition Corp. That SPAC, started by former Barclays Plc banker Makram Azar, raised $345 million in its U.S. IPO in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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