January 17, 2014 / 12:15 PM / 5 years ago

London Stock Exchange names new directors from tech sector

Workers speak above an electronic information board at the London Stock Exchange in the City of London January 2, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

LONDON (Reuters) - The London Stock Exchange has appointed former Facebook executive Joanna Shields and start-up investor Sherry Coutu to its board to help encourage tech companies to list in the British capital.

LSE Group chairman Chris Gibson-Smith said Shields and Coutu brought strong track records as entrepreneurs and in building businesses to the company as non-executive directors.

Britain has helped technology start-ups through policy and tax initiatives but many companies still prefer to list in the United States, where analysts say investors have a better understanding of the sector.

LSE launched a high-growth market segment nearly a year ago geared towards digital industries, for example by relaxing the requirements made on the number of shares required to be in free float, but no companies have yet listed using the new rules.

Shields, who has also worked for Google and AOL, will step down as chief executive of Tech City, the UK government-funded initiative aimed at supporting the technology sector, on February 3 although she will remain as chairman, the organisation said separately.

She will be replaced by Gerard Grech, who has worked with app developers and start-ups at Blackberry, Nokia and Orange, Tech City UK said.

Coutu sits on the advisory board of LinkedIn Corp, and has experience in founding and leading tech companies and investing in start-ups, the LSE said.

Reporting by Paul Sandle

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