McGrath Nicol executive chairman to lead Evans Dixon

Written on the 8 July 2019 by Matt Ogg

McGrath Nicol executive chairman to lead Evans Dixon

Restructuring expert Peter Anderson will fill the void left at Evans Dixon (ASX: ED1) after its former CEO moved aside last month in a bid to rescue the financial advisory firm's struggling US business.

Alan Dixon stepped down from the role to focus on the company's US Masters Residential Property Fund (ASX: URF), which saw its share price fall by almost half in the past 18 months.

Evans Dixon has been having a hard time of it as well since a May forecast that EBITDA would be at best three quarters of FY18's $50.1 million result.

Executive chairman David Evans was filling the CEO position in the interim, but now that seat will be filled by Anderson who has been an independent non-executive at Evans Dixon since 4 April 2019.

The announcement coincides with the announced retirement of chief financial officer and company secretary Tristan O'Connell, who will be replaced temporarily by Warwick Keneally.

"Peter brings a wealth of executive experience and exceptional leadership skills to his new role," says Evans.

"Most recently he has been executive chairman of McGrathNicol where he has overseen the transformation of that business from a specialist restructuring practice to a business with over 50 per cent of its turnover relating to general advisory services.

"Peter has more than 25 years' experience leading a number of Australia's largest and most complex restructuring engagements focussing on clarity of strategy and disciplined implementation."

Evans adds Anderson's experience and the knowledge gained since joining the board means no time will be lost as the company works to improve and strengthen performance.

"We had begun an executive search process however when it became apparent that Peter was available to lead the business the decision was clear. He is greatly respected by the rest of the Board, Evans Dixon management and staff," says Evans,

Anderson says he is excited to be joining Evans Dixon at such an important time for the business.

"The last six to nine months have been challenging, however I firmly believe that the core strengths of the business in terms of its team of highly talented people, its increasingly diverse and strongly performing product portfolio, and large and loyal base of clients, continues to give Evans Dixon exceptional competitive advantage," he says.

"Our job now is to leverage that competitive advantage to maximum effect over the coming years for the benefit of all stakeholders including clients, staff and shareholders."

CFO Tristan O'Connell made the decision to retire from the firm to focus on his health.

"The Board thanks Tristan for his great contribution and dedication over his 14 years with the firm," says Evans.

"Whilst we are disappointed Tristan is leaving, we fully understand and support his decision to step away from the business after enduring health challenges over the past 12 months.

"Warwick Keneally will be acting in the role while an executive search process is undertaken to fill the positions. Warwick has been CFO of the Evans Dixon Funds Management business for 3 years after 15 years as a chartered accountant with KPMG and McGrathNicol."

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Business News Australia

 
Author: Matt Ogg

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