Congratulations Sir Nigel Wickes. At last someone has had the courage to make the first bold step. If London is to maintain its premier and dominant role in Europe it must bring Europe with it. So much rhetoric has come from our seniors in the market only for it to dissipate when politics or cash has played a role, to wit the sale of Clearstream to Deutsche Borse. After the ESF had affirmed the horizontal model when it came down to cash principles didn’t matter a jot.
I had a moment’s hearts top when I saw the consideration – only 19% of Euroclear’s issued capital but then I realised that Euroclear is now a bank and that it had been capitalised at a billion something when it was created. It still seems a little light on price but I guess we have to trust the accountants and investments bankers who oversaw the valuation process and after all for some of the sellers it will just mean an addition of Euroclear shares to their current holdings.
A further concern was the senior roles but I guess Sir Nigel as Deputy Chairman will be able to effectively protect the City’s interests and presumably he will eventually replace Chris Tupker.
All in all a positive move. It just goes to show that sometimes you have to give a little to make the giant leap forward. Well done Chairman and board.