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Henderson CEO quits as firm moves to Ireland

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  • Henderson CEO quits as firm moves to Ireland

UK - Roger Yates is stepping down as chief executive of Henderson Group and managing director of Henderson in November, after nine years in charge.

Yates will leave the firm on 4 November 2008 and will be replaced by Andrew Formica, the current head of equities and co-head of listed assets at the firm.

Yates said in a statement: "It has been a great privilege to lead this business over the past nine years. Having worked with Andrew for a number of years, I know he is the right person to take Henderson forward."

Rupert Pennant-Rea, chairman of Henderson, described Formica, who has been with the group since 1998, as a strong successor to Yates, and having worked closely with Yates over the last four years the Board expects a "seamless transition".

The departure of Yates was announced in the firm's interim results for 2008, which also confirmed the company intends to alter its corporate structure and relocate to Ireland to take advantage of a more attractive tax structure.

The proposals to change the corporate structure will involve a scheme of arrangement to create a new holding company incorporated in Jersey and tax-resident in Ireland, in an effort to achieve an effective corporate rate of tax of 20% per year from 2009.

Yates said: "As our business becomes increasingly global, we have concluded that the group and its shareholders would be better served by having an international holding company with a group structure that is designed to help protect the group's taxation position and better facilitate its financial management."

In addition, the interim report stated, "notwithstanding recent suggestions concerning possible changes to UK tax laws, the directors believe the most appropriate structure is for the new parent company of Henderson Group to be tax-resident in the Republic of Ireland".

Henderson emphasised these proposals would "not result in any changes in the day-to-day conduct of the business of Henderson Group, its strategy or dividend policy", but admitted the current estimate of implementing the changes in 2008 would be £4.5m (€5.6m).

The interim results revealed the group recorded an operating profit of £50.8m, before tax and non-recurring assets, which was a fall of 16% from the £60.5m posted in the same period in 2007, attributed primarily to debt servicing costs associated with debt raised in May last year.

However assets under management fell from £59.2bn at the end of 2007 to £52.6bn.

The £6.6bn fall in assets under management was attributed to £4.8bn net fund outflows from Pearl - recently merged with Resolution Asset Management - and £3.1bn in unfavourable market and foreign exchange rate movements, according to the interim report, although officials said this was partially offset by net fund inflows of £1.3bn.

Management fee income also decreased by 8% to £119.2m, as a result of weaker equity markets, while transaction fee income dropped 13% to £8.7m, following a "slower pace of investment in property" during the period.

However, while Henderson reported outflows of £300m in UK and European wholesale business and £200m in investment trusts, the firm achieved inflows of £1bn from what it describes as lower margin institutional business, mainly into fixed income products.

"The economic environment in the first six months of 2008 was extremely hostile compared with the same period last year. Weaker markets and subdued demand for investment products put pressure on our fee income," said Yates.

The firm admitted it does not expect market conditions to improve in 2008, as although "there are current opportunities in hedge funds, property and institutional, overall we expect fund flows to be subdued in the second half of 2008".

If you have any comments you would like to add to this or any other story, contact Nyree Stewart on + 44 (0)20 7261 4618 or email nyree.stewart@ipe.com

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