Jupiter Fund Management swapped one investment banking veteran for another yesterday after its chairman was forced to retire due to ill health.
Former SG Warburg financer Liz Airey was appointed chairman after incumbent Jamie Dundas, a former Morgan Grenfell banker, was forced to step down.
Dundas, who is 63 and also a non-executive director at Standard Chartered, will retire from the City and stand down from his other roles.
“We are all very sad that Jamie has had to retire from the board,” Jupiter boss Maarten Slendebroek said.
“Jupiter is fortunate to have sufficient strength and depth to deal with this unexpected event and we have an excellent successor in Liz.”
Airey added: “Our thoughts are with Jamie at this time, and we hope he continues to make good progress in his recovery.”
Airey’s appointment makes her the most powerful woman in the fund management sector and just one of eight businesswomen to chair a FTSE 250 company.
Airey joined the Jupiter board in 2010, shortly before the flotation of the group and has since served as senior independent director and chairman of the group’s audit committee.
Jupiter said it was now searching for Airey’s replacement. Shares in the group rose slightly yesterday by 0.08 per cent.
PROFILE: FROM BANK TO BOARDROOM
Jupiter’s new chairman Liz Airey has one ingredient she shares with her predecessor Jamie Dundas: a pedigree at pre-eminent British merchant banks popular before the City’s big bang.
For Airey, this was SG Warburg, the blue-blooded group she joined upon graduation from Churchill College, Cambridge. Eton-educated Dundas, meanwhile, worked for similary blue-blooded rival Morgan Grenfell during the same period.
But while Dundas’ route to Jupiter included stints on both the board of Sainsbury’s and property giant MEPC, Airey started her executive career in the oil and gas sector, in the wake of a small detour to stockbrokers County Natwest.
She first worked as finance director at Nimex Resources for a decade, before moving to Monument Oil and Gas for another nine-year stint as a finance chief.
She stood down in 1999 and took her first substantial non-executive role at FTSE 100 Amec, which she joined upon her departure from Monument. A decade on the board was supplemented with a chairman’s role at Zetex, which she took up April 2003 and exited in 2007.
Airey chaired the Unliever UK Pension Fund after that, employing a host of fund managers such as BlackRock, Schroders, and Investec to run money for the fund. She stood down in June. She is also still a non-executive at Tate & Lyle.