Australian investment manager Magellan Financial Group (ASX: MFG) has appointed former Future Fund executive David George into the role of CEO and managing director, replacing Brett Cairns who resigned in late 2021.
George is the former deputy chief investment officer, public markets at the Future Fund, Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, where he oversaw an asset base in excess of $170 billion.
Now, he’ll be heading up Magellan’s smaller portfolio which as of 29 April 2022 had $68.6 billion in funds under management.
“We are delighted to appoint David to the role of CEO and managing director. He has deep funds management experience developed over a career in Australia and Canada. As an external hire, David brings an outstanding investment management pedigree, a strong client service and results orientation and fresh perspectives to our team. The board was unanimous in its view that David is the right person to lead Magellan,” Magellan chairman Hamish McLennan said.
“Magellan is in strong financial health and we are executing on our investment strategies, capital management programme and staff retention initiatives. We acknowledge that there is more work to do. I am very confident that David, working with Magellan’s best-in-class team, will achieve strong client outcomes over the years.”
Whilst at the Future Fund, George was also a member of the senior management team that led the overall strategic direction of the wealth fund.
Prior to his 14 years at the Future Fund, the newly appointed CEO held senior roles at Mercer Investment Consulting, and also worked at the Royal Bank of Canada and Integra Capital Management while living in Toronto.
Magellan says George was selected following an executive search supported by Heidrick & Struggles.
“We thank Kirsten Morton for her outstanding contribution as interim CEO,” McLennan added.
“She has displayed tremendous leadership and determination and will continue to be a key part of our executive team going forward.
“We are pleased to advise that Kirsten will become chief operating officer, whilst maintaining her current role as chief financial officer of Magellan.
George said it was an honour to be appointed as Magellan’s CEO and managing director.
“I have long admired Magellan and the role it plays in safeguarding and growing the wealth of its investors across the world,” George said.
“Magellan has a significant depth of talent and has demonstrated consistent investment and operational excellence through time. I look forward to working with the team to build upon this track record of success, generating strong and sustained investment results for our clients.
“With the support of the board, I will be engaging widely with all stakeholders to build and maintain the relationships that will underpin future growth.”
George will commence with Magellan on 8 August 2022, and has agreed to a base salary of $1.8 million per annum, plus a signing bonus of $600,000 payable in two instalments as well as other bonuses.
His appointment comes after the co-founder of Magellan Hamish Douglass resigned in March from the role of chairman and chief investment officer due to a medical leave of absence which commenced in February.
At the time, Douglass claimed the decision to take leave was made to prioritise his health following a “period of intense pressure and focus on both his professional and personal life”.
Prior to his resignation, the former chairman and figurehead of the firm endured a public split from his wife, the departure of the company’s CEO Brett Cairns in December 2021, and the collapse of the MFG share price - down 68 per cent since early-July 2021.
Shares in MFG are up 2.1 per cent to $16.21 per share at 10.10am AEST.
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