Wellcome Trust on hunt to find a new chairman after Sir William Castell's exit

Michael Bow
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Sir Bill Castell has been at the trust since 2006
The Wellcome Trust is entering the last week of an exhaustive search to find a new chairman to replace outgoing chair Sir William Castell.

The charitable trust, the UK’s biggest private source of funding for medical research, has appointed executive search firm Korn Ferry to find a replacement for Castell, who is stepping down in April 2016 after eight years in the hot seat.

The post, which is part-time and requires two days of work a week, is for an initial fixed term of five years and will involve chairing the trust’s 11-strong board of governors.

Korn Ferry said the candidate must have “a strong interest in science” and have acted as a non-executive on another major board.

Castell, who was chief executive of former FTSE 100 pharmaceutical giant Amersham for over 15 years, has also been on the boards of General Electric and oil major BP.

He succeeded Sir Dominic Cadbury, former chairman of the Economist Group and chocolate giant Cadbury’s, as chair of the Wellcome Trust in 2006.

Whoever replaces Castell will walk into a boardroom packed with heavyweight City talent.

Former Schroders executive director Alan Brown sits on the board alongside Damon Buffini, the founder and ex-managing partner of private equity giant Permira.

The former director-general of MI5 Eliza Manningham-Buller also sits on the board.

Korn Ferry will end its search for a new chairman a week today, on 20 October.