Alistair Buchanan has been appointed as a non-executive director (NED) elect, subject to regulatory approval, and will serve on the wealth manager’s audit, risk, nomination and remuneration committees.
He spent 10 years as the CEO of the UK’s gas and electricity markets’ regulator Ofgem and before that worked as a partner at KPMG where also served as UK chairman of power and utilities.
His appointment comes as WH Ireland adds another NED to its board – Simon Lough. Lough’s appointment is effective immediately and he will also sit on the audit and risk committee.
This is the second time the former energy regulator chief executive has been called in as part of a major board restructure in the last year. Thames Water recruited him as a NED last June as it overhauled its corporate structure which included major improvements to governance.
WH Ireland bosses have been desperately trying to turn the business around and stop haemorrhaging cash. Speaking to Portfolio Adviser last month, after revealing £11m in losses for 2018, head of wealth Stephen Ford and CEO Philip Wale vowed the business would be profitable by year end due to the firm’s aggressive cost cutting.
Buchanan said he was “excited to be joining WH Ireland at a time when its executive team are setting out a new clearly defined strategy”.
“I look forward in my role as NED to support both them and my other colleagues on the board, to deliver that.”
Buchanan trained as a chartered accountant at KPMG and was awarded the CBE in 2008. He has also sat on the boards of Durham University and Scottish Water and currently serves on the board of the University of London’s Royal Holloway College.
Hargreaves loses NED
Elsewhere, Hargreaves Lansdown has lost one of its NEDs. The D2C platform confirmed on Monday afternoon that Jayne Styles will not be seeking re-election at the firm’s upcoming AGM on 10 October and will be stepping down from the board on that date.
Styles, who has been an independent director at Hargreaves since October 2015, said she was leaving to devote more time to her executive career. Up until March of this year she was the CEO of Dublin-based multi-asset house MS Amlin Investment Management.
She is one of seven NEDs on the board, including Deanna Oppenheimer who also serves as the company’s chairperson.
Hargreaves said while it is currently searching for Styles’ replacement it does not intend to appoint a successor immediately because the composition of the board is still appropriate in terms of size, independence and diversity.
Oppenheimer said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Jayne who has served on the board for the last four years. On behalf of the company, I’d like to express my gratitude to Jayne for her dedication and contribution to Hargreaves Lansdown. We wish her every success in the future.”