LSE poaches Fidelity’s Kafka to head comms

The London Stock Exchange has poached Fidelity Investments head of comms Paul Kafka as it revamps its communications in the face of market competition.

Kafka, currently Fidelity executive director of corporate comms, is to take up the new post of LSE director of corporate comms and public policy in August. He will become LSE’s first head of comms, reporting to chief executive Clara Furse.

Kafka will have three direct reports: head of press office John Wallace; head of PA David Wheeldon and head of regulatory stages Adam Kinsley. Kinsley’s role is concerned primarily with European public policy issues affecting the exchange.

Kafka takes up the role after eight years with parent firm Fidelity International.

At Fidelity, Kafka has seen an unprecedented period of shareholder activism, spearheaded by its fund manager Anthony Bolton. Prior to joining Fidelity in 1996, Kafka was director of corporate comms for Nomura International and was vice-president and head of corporate communications at Security Pacific Hoare Govett between 1989 and 1991.

Since LSE floated in 2001, it has had to ditch a planned merger with German rival Deutsche Börse and fight off a hostile takeover from Sweden’s OM Group.

Last month the exchange came under more competitive pressure when Euronext, the pan-European exchange, said it would aggressively cut listing fees for Dutch companies.

Fidelity Investments is to replace Kafka with its director of sales for the German independent financial adviser market, Joerg Moberg.

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