City veteran and serial investor David Kempton is to step down as chair of Hawksmoor, handing over to Plymouth Argyle Football Club backer and former chair James Brent.
Kempton – a star columnist for Wealth Manager sister title Citywire Funds Insider – initially joined the board of the Exeter-based company in 2009, after taking a stake in the-then fledgling fund house.
He will remain on the board as a non-executive director, and retains a significant equity investment in the company.
Before his involvement in the South West’s largest football franchise, Brent, who joined the Hawksmoor board a year ago, spent 25 years with Schroders, rising from being its youngest ever director to heading real estate at Citigroup, following its acquisition of Schroders’ investment bank.
Hawksmoor chief executive John Crowley (pictured) said: ‘I would like to thank David for his invaluable contribution as chair of the Hawksmoor board for the last nine years. We are of course delighted that he will remain as a valued member of the board during the next phase of the company’s growth, so that we can continue to benefit from his wisdom and energy.
‘James is an experienced chair in a variety of contexts, as well as formerly a senior investment banker. We are looking forward to working with James in his new role and the increased opportunity as chair for him to contribute his expertise in support of Hawksmoor’s plans for the future.’
Hawksmoor had previously reshuffled its boardroom responsibilities last September as senior investment director Andrew Foster stepped down and was replaced by senior fund manager Ben Conway.
Hawksmoor said Foster had taken the decision to leave the executive team to concentrate on his client book and responsibilities as head of the firm’s Taunton office.
Last June, the company said it had moved into the black for the first time since 2013, posting an underlying profit of £653,000.
The business moved into profitability over the year to December 2017 after posting a £72,000 loss in 2016. However, the £583,000 it paid in new business awards and additional share options has resulted in a total loss for the financial year of £415,000.
The new business awards (NBA) are part of the company's offer to new investment managers to bring their business to Hawksmoor. Up to 25% of the award value can be taken in cash, which is the NBA, that is payable in three equal instalments after the start of employment.
The company pointed out that the income stream associated with funds under management brought by investment managers are valued 12 months after the manager joins Hawksmoor.
Crowley said the move into profitability came after an extensive ‘transformative phase’ of recruitment and restructuring. He expects solid growth in both assets under management (AUM) and profitability to continue.