AJ Bell strikes consultancy deal with founder
AJ Bell has struck a deal with a consultancy firm owned by founder Andy Bell today as he prepares to step down as chief executive and into an advisory role.
In a statement this morning, the retail investment giant said its subsidiary AJ Bell Business Solutions had entered into a consultancy agreement with Blythe Business Services (BBSL), a “company associated with Andy”.
BBSL will be paid an annual fee of £150,000 for procuring the services of the founder for not less than 48 full days a year.
Details of the agreement come after Bell was blocked from shifting into a non-executive board position by the City regulator over concerns of the sway he would still hold.
AJ Bell said last week the regulator had cited the need for a “clear distinction” between the executive and non-executive roles after Bell steps down, and warned of a “risk to effective board governance that would arise if a founder CEO with a significant shareholding remained on the board after stepping down as CEO.”
The move by the watchdog caused chair of the firm Helena Morrissey to quit her role after just nine-months.
“I felt it was the right thing to do to step aside and let the board draw a line under this,” she told The Financial Times
Bell announced he would be retiring as chief executive of the firm in June after 27 years at the helm, handing over the reins to Michael Summersgill who was previously CFO and had been groomed for the leadership role.