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TMCNet:  Rathbones boss Pomfret to step down next year

[December 03, 2013]

Rathbones boss Pomfret to step down next year

(City A.M. (UK) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) RATHBONE Brothers veteran chief executive Andy Pomfret yesterday said he was retiring from the company next year after a decade at the helm of the investment firm.

Pomfret, who became chief executive in 2004 after joining the upmarket fund manager as finance chief in 1999, will stand down at the end February.

The company, which manages cash for well-heeled clients, has named deputy chief executive and seasoned investment manager Philip Howell as his replacement. Howell was previously at rival Williams de Broe.

Pomfret told City A.M.: "I've been here for 14 years and I've done the role of CEO for nine years. I'd love to take all that experience and apply it in a slightly different way.

"I'd always felt that to have a plural career I'd need to leave at some point, then Philip came on board as deputy and all those factors came together." Pomfret, who spent 13 years at Kleinwort Benson before joining Rathbones, said he would consider taking on non-executive boardroom roles in future.

His time at the company has been marked by a huge increase in assets under management from £7.7bn when he took over to £21bn today.

Its share price has risen 76 per cent since Pomfret was appointed in 2004. Shares were off 0.3 per cent yesterday after the news.

Rathbones chairman Mark Nicholls said: "It is a tribute to Andy's farsightedness that he brought in Philip as a potential successor at the beginning of the year." ANALYST VIEWS WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT RATHBONE'S CHANGE AT THE TOP? By Michael Bow STUART DUNCAN PEEL HUNT It's clearly been a fairly well managed process and seems pretty much business as usual for the company at this point. It's been a transition that has been well thought through and it's a good example of foresight to put these plans into place earlier this year.

DAVID MCCANN NUMIS Ó This is a largely expected move, after the hiring of Philip Howell earlier this year to the then new position of deputy chief executive. Howell was previously chief executive of Williams de Broe, which was part of Evolution and then Investec. It seems a sensible transition.

ROBIN SAVAGE CANACCORD GENUITY " Andy Pomfret has led Rathbones with distinction; he leaves it in excellent shape. Philip Howell's challenge is to take the company to the next level, using technology to support the Rathbones' portfolio managers and improve productivity and new business generation.

PROFILE: ANDY POMFRET Andy Pomfret, Rathbone Brothers' soon to be former chief executive, says he wants to spend some time travelling and skiing when he departs the company at the end of February after nine years leading the business. But it won't be long until he's back in the boardroom, given the plethora of corporate finance experience on his CV.

Pomfret, 53, started his career as a chartered accountant with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company, now part of KPMG. He quickly moved into the wealth management sector with a corporate finance role at private bank Kleinwort Benson, joining in 1986.

After his stint in corporate finance, he moved into the bank's venture capital arm before being promoted to finance director of the investment management and private banking division.

He was then poached to join Rathbones in 1999 to become the company's finance director before making the step up to chief executive five years later.

Away from the executive side, Pomfret was non-executive director on the board of Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley, alongside former Kleinwort Benson chief executive Jonathan Agnew, until 2011.

He currently sits on the board of listed investment trust Graphite Enterprise and is likely to add more directorships after his exit.

(c) 2013 City A.M.

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