John Phizackerley, boss of the world’s largest interdealer broker TP ICAP, appears to have had his exit arranged for him, after the company found itself saving far less money and spending far too much on the integratation of its ICAP purchase.

TP ICAP said it was reducing its annualised cost savings target for 2019 from around £100m to £75m as finance and investment costs will be much higher than expected. Spending on Mifid II regulations, Brexit-related changes and legal and IT costs will rise by around £10m to £25m – and finance costs will increase to around £40m in 2019.

As a result, chairman Rupert Robson announced that Mr Phizackerley would be leaving his post as chief executive and board member with immediate effect, being replaced by Nicolas Breteau, the current chief commercial officer and head of TP ICAP’s global broking business.

Mr Robson tried to suggest it was ”part of our established succession plan” – after it “became clear that a change of leadership is required to execute our medium-term growth strategy and deliver the detail of the integration process”.

However, like most political departures, the protagonist was able to tell a different story: Mr Phizackerley told the Financial Times that he had been told of the decision only yesterday. And he pointedly pointed out that the decision was not the position of the board at its last meeting, in New York, on June 20, when the half-year numbers were discussed.

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