Former London Stock Exchange chief raises Brexit fears
The former chief executive of the London Stock Exchange Group has reiterated his concerns about Britain leaving the EU during a speech at a school in Shropshire.
Xavier Rolet described Brexit as a threat but hopes a transition period can work for and improve the economy.
He also hopes entrepreneurs are put front and centre during a Brexit transition period.
The French-born financial heavyweight who left the LSEG at the end of last year after nine years in charge was guest speaker at Moreton Hall School’s annual business lunch.
He said: "I think it will take some time. Brexit itself – I don't think people know what Brexit is. Will be a hard Brexit, will there be a transitional period?
"I think it is a threat to us and I can't help being worried. The solutions are very complex.
"I know there are some very capable politicians in the UK who understand the issues."
Mr Rolet also spoke about financial services, which he said plays a key role in providing growth finance for the UK’s 5.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises, boosting high quality job creation and UK productivity.
Moreton Enterprises, the unique business venture run by the Year 12 girls at the school, also gave their annual business presentation outlining their sales strategy for the year.
Addressing the students, Mr Rolet said: "I don't think imitating us older generation is the way forward. Focus on new ideas and innovation. The younger generation can make a real difference."
During his tenure at the LSEG he took the firm from £800 million to £14 billion in value and was ranked as one of the best 100 CEOs in the world in 2017 by the Harvard Business Review.
A graduate of Columbia University School of Business, between 1984 and 1994 he worked at Goldman Sachs in New York and London, then joined Credit Suisse First Boston as Global Head of European Equities. After that, he worked at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson from 1997-2000 as Global Head of Risk and Trading before eight years at Lehman Brothers in New York as co-head of global equity trading, in London as head of European and Asian equities and in Paris as CEO of Banque Lehman Brothers.
Outside of the world of finance, he has competed in the Dakar Rally and is a world class wine-maker.
The business lunch, which is held at the school near Oswestry every year, has become a firm fixture in the busy diaries of Shropshire and regional business leaders.
Impressive past guest speakers include Old Moretonians Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor of The Economist, and Fiona Marshall, brand marketing director of ASOS.
The most recent guest speakers have been Nick Wheeler, founder and chairman of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts and William Hague, former leader of the Conservative Party.