Lesley Knox takes chair at Grosvenor
LESLEY Knox, one of only two female chairmen at FTSE 100 firms, yesterday added another prestigious role to her CV as chairman of Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster’s property firm.
Grosvenor said its current chair, Lord (David) Home, plans to retire as a trustee of the company and from the board at the end of the year. Knox is set to join the board on 9 September and will take the reins officially on 1 January next year.
Knox, 56, also holds the chairmanship of investment giant Alliance Trust. Property group Land Securities is the only other FTSE 100 company to be chaired by a woman, Alison Carnwath, after Baroness Hogg stepped down from 3i earlier this year to become chairman of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).
There are still just five female chief executives at the UK’s biggest companies: Anglo American’s Cynthia Carroll, Angela Ahrendts at Burberry, Alison Cooper of Imperial Tobacco, Pearson’s Dame Marjorie Scardino and Katherine Garrett-Cox, also at Alliance Trust.
Grosvenor owns much of the swankiest parts of Mayfair and Belgravia, including sought-after Eaton Square. However, the group has suffered along with the rest of the sector during the crisis, having seen the value of its portfolio slip by 15.4 per cent in 2009 to £5.22bn.