A director of Man Group is being lined up to chair TP ICAP, the world’s largest interdealer broker, as it looks to repair relations with investors following a bitter row over pay and the ousting of its chief executive.
Sky News has learnt that Richard Berliand, a veteran of big trading jobs at JPMorgan, has been identified as the preferred candidate to succeed Rupert Robson as the company’s chairman.
City sources said this weekend that Mr Berliand was likely to be confirmed in the role before Christmas, and potentially as soon as next week.
If the appointment does go ahead, it will hand Mr Berliand one of the biggest chairmanships in the City at a challenging time for an interdealer broking sector which is being ravaged by technological and structural change.
His initial task will be to complete the integration of Tullett Prebon and ICAP’s voice and hybrid broking businesses, which merged at the end of 2016.
A profit warning in the summer sent TP ICAP’s shares plummeting by almost a third, and prompted the dismissal of John Phizackerley, its chief executive, as it warned that it had failed to exert a sufficiently tough grip on costs.
The company, which is best known in the public arena for its annual charity day, the 26th instalment of which will be held next week, employs thousands of brokers who negotiate trades in markets such as bonds and commodities.
Mr Phizackerley, a former Nomura executive, had become unpopular inside TP ICAP for his efforts to curb broker pay.
He has been replaced by Nicolas Breteau, the company’s former head of global broking, who has pledged to make further investment in data and analytics a priority of his tenure.
One source said that Mr Robson, who had planned to step down at the end of the year, was now likely to stay on for several more months in order to ensure a smooth transition.
The search for his successor has been led by Angela Knight, TP ICAP’s senior independent director, whose City career became particularly prominent as chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association during the 2008 crisis.
In Mr Berliand, she has found an accomplished, if low-key, veteran of the financial markets.
He held senior roles at JPMorgan, including global head of prime services and global head of cash equities during a 23-year career there.
He joined Man’s board in 2016 and also holds directorships at Rothesay Life, the pensions risk transfer specialist, and at Deutsche Boerse, where he is deputy chairman.
He is also on the global markets advisory committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in Washington, DC.
One insider said Mr Berliand would have a tough job to repair relations with some City investors angered by a remuneration battle last year, when the company drew up plans for an £85m bonus scheme for senior executives.
The plans were later dropped.
Shares in TP ICAP have fallen by nearly 40% during the last year, leaving it with a market value of just £1.75bn.
The company, which is now reportedly weighing further changes to a management incentive scheme, recently announced the $29m acquisition of Axiom Commodity Group, a US energy broker.
Celebrity participants in next week’s charity day are expected to include the Duchess of Cornwall in London and Michael Douglas, the Hollywood actor who played stockbroker Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film Wall Street, at the broker’s New York office.
A TP ICAP spokesman declined to comment this weekend.