Investment giant AJ Bell has shaken up its management to reflect its growth plans, adding two new leadership roles and the fourth woman to a board that has previously received criticism for its lack of progress on gender diversity.
The investment platform, whose total assets under administration swelled to £70.4bn in the second quarter, today announced that its CFO Michael Summersgill will step into the newly created role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer on 1 October.
An external search for a new CFO to replace Summersgill, who held the role since 2011, is now underway.
In another internal promotion, the group’s finance director Roger Stott has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, stepping into the position on 1 October.
In the only external appointment, Margaret Hassall will join the board as non-executive director on 1 September, from her previous role as non-executive director at Nucleus Financial Group.
She joins Helena Morrissey and Evelyn Bourke who became the second and third women on the investment platform’s board earlier this year, and non-executive director Laura Carstensen.
Morrissey is the founder of the 30 per cent Club, which lobbies for gender equality in boardrooms – and once Hassall joins, women will account for 40 per cent of AJ Bell’s board.
Les Platts, chair of AJ Bell’s board, said the planned external recruitment of a new CFO would “bring greater experience and diversity to the board.”
“Our business is growing quickly and there are exciting opportunities to take advantage of in the investment platform market,” added Andy Bell the firm’s chief executive.
“It is important that we have the resources and expertise within the business to support this growth and that includes the Board.”
In its latest trading update last month, AJ Bell reported significant growth, as total assets under administration in the second quarter rose to £70.4bn, a 30 per cent rise compared with the same period last year, and up 8 per cent from the previous quarter.
The investment platform said total customer numbers rose to 368,033, an increase of 30 per cent on the same period last year and up 6 per cent on the previous quarter. Net inflows hit £1.8bn, up 40 per cent from £1.2bn in the same period last year.