Jupiter chief executive Andew Formica (pictured) is to retire on 1 October 2022 after just over three years at the company.
The news comes less than two months after a former non-executive director of the company called for significant changes to turn the firm’s dwindling fortunes around, including the removal of Formica as CEO.
His successor, pending regulatory approvals, has been named as CIO Matthew Beesley, who joined Jupiter in January 2022, having exited Artemis after just 18 months and a three-year spell at Gam Investments. He has been appointed to Jupiter’s board and promoted to deputy CEO with immediate effect and will retain his global CIO responsibilities during the transition.
Beesley faces a considerable challenge, with the FTSE 250 fund manager’s share price having plummeted 69% over the past five years and dropped 56% since Formica assumed the top job in 2019.
The biggest hits to Jupiter’s share price were delivered in Q1 2020. While the pandemic was undoutedly a contributing factor, February saw the company unveiled its acquisition of Merian.
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Its share price more than halved between 8 February (396.7 pence per share) and 14 March (180.5 pence per share).
Poor performance and persistent net outflows meant that Jupiter has failed to regain its pre-pandemic highs. On the day Formica’s retirement was announced, the share price opened at 156 pence.
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Returning to Australia
Of Formica’s decision to exit his role after three-and-a-half years, Jupiter said that “Andrew has always been clear with the board that his longer-term plans would involve the relocation back to his native Australia with his family”.
“With the initial phase of Jupiter’s business transformation completed he feels now is the right time to hand over the leadership of the business, to enable the next phase to have consistent and strong leadership throughout that period,” the firm added.
With a return home always on the cards, Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services, thinks Formica, “like many over the past few years, has probably just reflected on the timing of this move and brought it forward”.
“I think it will mark a new chapter for Jupiter, and probably at a good time. With any luck, we’ll be in a slightly more certain environment towards the end of the year and, with a new focus, the business and start to turn outflows into inflows.”
It will not mean an immediate end to Formica’s dealing with Jupiter, however.
Even after moving to Australia, as he will remain in the business until 30 June 2023 “to ensure a smooth leadership transition and to assist with a number of strategic objectives, including supporting the Asian business and development of our Australian market offering”, the firm added.
Progress in strategic priorities
Nichola Pease, chairman of Jupiter, thanked Formica “for his significant contribution over the last three years”.
“Andrew has been an excellent leader throughout a highly challenging period for the business, the industry and indeed the world; his expertise and vision have strengthened our underlying business and driven progress towards our long-term strategic objectives.”
She added: “Since joining Jupiter, Matthew has clearly demonstrated his strong leadership skills and strategic insights. The board is pleased to have such a strong internal successor to Andrew and is confident his energy, experience and expertise will help drive forward the group’s strategy, for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”
Formica said: “Jupiter is a client-led business and I am proud to have worked with such a fantastic and dedicated team as we navigated an extremely challenging period for the business and markets. Despite those challenges, we continued to deliver for our clients with strong investment performance and our focus on high conviction active management.
“Whilst it is always hard to find the right time to hand over, we have made significant progress against our strategic priorities ensuring that Jupiter is now a more diversified and resilient business, has enhanced positions in critical areas such as sustainability and data science and has the right building blocks in place to support long term growth.
“I am pleased to see the board appoint Matthew Beesley as my successor, and I look forward to working with him to ensure a seamless transition.”
Beesley added: “I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead Jupiter into its next phase of development. Since joining Jupiter earlier this year, I have been enormously impressed by the talent we have across the firm, and the focus of the business on delivering excellent outcomes for our clients.
“We have made the right strategic changes to put Jupiter on the best trajectory to long-term growth and I look forward to playing my part in delivering on our significant potential.”