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Stonehage Fleming Appoints New Chairman

Jackie Bennion

2 October 2019

Following last month’s announcement that Chris Merry would become group CEO, international family office has named John Connolly as its new chairman of the board. His appointment takes effect immediately and he succeeds Charles Erasmus, who was chair for the past two decades.

Connolly’s long career in financial and corporate services includes a number of FTSE 100 chairmanships and 45 years at Deloitte, where he became a senior partner and global chairman. He currently chairs the security services firm G4S, was chairman of Amec Foster Wheeler consultancy before it merged with the Wood Group, and is executive chair of business services firm Cogital Group. Earlier this year he stepped down as chairman of Great Ormond Street Hospital charity and remains a council member of the CBI.

“John’s distinguished track record in both the professional services and corporate world makes him the ideal chairman for Stonehage Fleming. His extensive experience and strategic vision will contribute enormously to shaping the future growth of the firm,” group CEO Chris Merry said.

Deputy chair and managing partner Giuseppe Ciucci, who stepped down as CEO in September after 22 years, paid tribute to the outgoing chair. “Over the last 20 years, Charles has overseen the evolution of our business from a niche trust and fiduciary company, to the full service, broadly diversified international family advisory business we are so proud of today. We are very grateful to him.”

Stepping into the post, Connolly said: “It’s an exciting time to be taking on this role and I am looking forward to working with a business that has such great potential for further growth, and with a team that has redefined the modern family office.”

In July, this news service reported on Caledonia Investments taking a minority stake in Stonehage Fleming, following a deal being mooted at the end of 2018. The investment is structured by way of a tender offer made to all Stonehage Fleming's shareholders, which resulted in Caledonia buying 36.7 per cent of the fully diluted capital.

In further developments late last year, Stonehage Fleming unveiled a strategic alliance with Glenmede Trust Company, NA, a private wealth and institutional trust investment management firm based in the US.

Stonehage Fleming, which operates in a number of jurisdictions, advises on more than $55 billion of assets for families and charities. It currently supports 11 offices in eight regions around the world.