Magellan appoints David George as its new CEO

World News

Troubled investment manager Magellan has appointed former deputy chief investment officer for public markets at the Future Fund executive David George as its new chief executive and managing director.

New Magellan CEO David George.

George takes over the chief executive role from Brett Cairns, who abruptly resigned in December. Chief financial officer Kirsten Morton had been operating as interim CEO since Cairns’ departure.

George has worked at the Future Fund for 14 years, and before that held senior roles at Mercer Investment Consulting and the Royal Bank of Canada while living in Toronto.

Magellan chair Hamish McLennan said the board was delighted to appoint George, who has deep funds management experience.

“As an external hire, David brings an outstanding investment management pedigree, a strong client service and results orientation and fresh perspectives to our team. The board was unanimous in its view that David is the right person to lead Magellan,” McLennan said.

“Magellan is in strong financial health and we are executing on our investment strategies, capital management programme and staff retention initiatives.”

Magellan’s funds under management and share price has been in freefall since late last year, when Cairns’ departure triggered a series of shock announcements, including the loss of Magellan’s largest investment mandate and star investor and founder Hamish Douglass taking sick leave.

The turmoil has seen investors profit from short-selling Magellan, and its longstanding investors dump the stock. Magellan has sought to stabilise operations by visiting institutional clients in Europe in March and issuing financial incentives to retain staff, during what Morton said had been a “challenging period”.

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