Investment platform AJ Bell has announced that founder and chief executive Andy Bell (pictured) is to step down as CEO on 1 October.
Bell, who co-founded the business in 1995, will remain on the firm’s board and assume the role of non-executive deputy chair from that date.
Subject to regulatory approvals, he will be succeeded by current deputy CEO Michael Summersgill, who has been with the company since 2007 and took up the deputy role in October 2021.
Summersgill has also been chief financial officer since 2011, but will relinquish that role to Peter Birch on 1 July.
AJ Bell said Summergill’s appointment is “in line with the board’s long-established succession plan, having been identified as a potential successor to Andy several years ago”.
Still has a seat at the table
Bell’s appointment as deputy chair “will ensure the company continues to benefit from his deep experience of AJ Bell and the wider investment platform market”, the firm said.
In his new role, he will still be actively involved in “evaluating future market developments and the opportunities they present to AJ Bell, as well as campaigning for fairness and simplicity for UK retail investors and financial advisers”.
Helena Morrissey, chair at AJ Bell, said: “I am delighted that Andy will continue to serve on the board as deputy chair. He has built AJ Bell into one of the UK’s leading investment platforms and will remain an important member of the board.
“He has provided great support to me since I joined the company in 2021 and I look forward to working alongside him in his new role as we strive to deliver AJ Bell’s long-term growth strategy.”
She added: “Michael’s appointment as CEO of AJ Bell is the culmination of a long-term succession process that the board has been running for a number of years. The board concluded that Michael was the standout candidate given his experience of the business and the market.
“He has served on the board as CFO for over a decade and made a significant contribution to the success of AJ Bell over that time. His appointment to the role of deputy CEO last year will ensure a smooth transition when he becomes CEO and the board is confident he is the right person to lead our talented executive leadership team.
See also: AJ Bell judged better cultural fit for Helena Morrissey as she exits SJP after short stint
‘A fantastic journey’
Bell said: “It has been an honour to lead AJ Bell as CEO, both as a private company for many years and more recently as a publicly-listed business. I would like to thank our people, past and present, for helping to grow AJ Bell into the business it is today. It has been a fantastic journey so far and I am as excited as ever about the prospects for the AJ Bell.
“I am delighted to be handing over to Michael, who has already proven himself to be an outstanding leader within the company. It has been a pleasure to work alongside him for over a decade and I know he is the right person to drive the business forward with passion, enthusiasm and integrity.
“I look forward to moving into a new role of deputy chair, where I will continue to support Helena, Michael and the rest of the team as we look to capitalise on our significant long-term growth opportunity.”
Summersgill added: “It is a huge privilege to take over the CEO role from Andy. We have built the company into one of the largest investment platforms in the UK and I am incredibly excited by the growth opportunity ahead of us.
“The foundations for us to deliver long-term growth in both the advised and D2C markets are firmly in place.
“My focus will be on continuing to evolve our platform propositions and service capabilities to meet the ever-changing needs of advisers and customers. I am confident we have the right team in place to meet those needs and remain at the forefront of the investment platform market.”