It has been announced that we have appointed Lawrence Hutchings, who joins Capital & Regional from Blackstone, as Chief Executive. Lawrence replaces Hugh Scott-Barrett, who will become Non-Executive Chairman, following the retirement of John Clare. The changes will all become effective on 13 June 2017.
The Board, through its Nominations Committee, has given much thought to senior management succession planning over the last 12 months, seeking to balance the importance of introducing new talent with continuity of experience. John Clare, after seven years of valued contribution, has advised the Board of his wish to step down as Non-Executive Chairman in 2017. Similarly Hugh Scott-Barrett, having led the company successfully for almost nine years, has advised the Board of his desire to step down as Chief Executive.
Lawrence Hutchings joins following four years at Blackstone in Australia, two as Managing Director, and has over 20 years' experience in the property industry including 11 years in senior positions operating in the UK and European retail real estate markets. Prior to Blackstone, Lawrence was at Hammerson PLC for four years, the last three as Managing Director - UK Retail, before which he spent almost seven years at Henderson Global Investors, latterly as Director (Property) European Retail. Lawrence was chosen following an extensive and competitive process, which was supported by an executive search firm.
While fully cognisant of the UK Code of Corporate Governance recommendations, the Nominations Committee and the Board believe that, in this case, Hugh is the most appropriate candidate for the role of Non-Executive Chairman. The need for experience and continuity at this stage of the Company's development combined with his important relationships and excellent attributes for the position led the Board to conclude his appointment would be strongly in the interests of the Company and its shareholders.
Tony Hales, Senior Independent Director, commented: "Lawrence Hutchings not only brings a deep understanding of UK retail from his senior management roles at both Hammerson and Henderson Global Investors but a real passion for the sector. His skills and expertise, together with his experience at Blackstone, will be very valuable for the future growth of Capital & Regional, building on the significant momentum achieved by the Company over the past few years.
"I would also like to thank John Clare, on behalf of the Board, for his exceptional leadership during a transformational period for the company. We wish him the very best for the future. The Board believes Hugh Scott-Barrett to be an outstanding candidate for Chairman and is the Board's unanimous choice as John's successor."
Lawrence Hutchings commented: "Capital & Regional is a highly entrepreneurial and well-regarded business with a strong track record of delivering accretive asset management and development initiatives. The Company also has a great portfolio which offers many opportunities and I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to lead the Company as it enters its next phase of growth."
John Clare, added: "It has been a great privilege to have been Chairman of Capital & Regional at a time of significant change. I wish both Lawrence and Hugh every success in their new roles."