Thain Gives Hedge Fund A Piece Of His Mind

Sep 8 2006 | 12:00am ET

 Proving itself unusually adept at arousing the ire of exchange executives, The Children’s Investment Fund this week found itself on the wrong side of a tongue-lashing from NYSE Group chief John Thain.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Thain slammed the hedge fund’s opposition to NYSE’s merger with European exchange operation Euronext, in which TCI holds a substantial stake. According to Thain, “TCI, like all hedge funds, is simply touting its own interests” in pushing a merger with Deutsche Börse, in which TCI also holds a big stake.

The man who took the New York Stock Exchange public accuses TCI of downplaying possible regulatory problems with a Deutsche Börse-Euronext marriage, and mocked a proposal to allow Euronext shareholder to vote on both merger options.

“That’s not going to happen,” he told the Journal. “This is not a multiple-choice quiz.”

In TCI, Thain is scuffling with an adversary with one exchange executive’s scalp already in hand. The U.K. hedge fund led the opposition last year to Deutsche Börse’s proposed acquisition of the London Stock Exchange, the failure of which led to the downfall of Deutsche Börse CEO Werner Seifert.

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