Schroders has promoted Peter Harrison, its current head of equities, to chief executive after incumbent Michael Dobson decided to step down after 15 years in the role.

Harrison first worked for Schroders in 1988 when he was a graduate and re-joined in 2013.

A year later, he was promoted to the board and named head of investment.

He has also worked at Newton Asset Management, JP Morgan and Deutsche Asset Management.

Dobson is instead set to succeed Andrew Beeson as Schroders’s non-executive chairman following Beeson’s decision to retire.

Philip Howard, senior independent director at Schroders, said he was “delighted” with Harrison’s succeeding Dobson as chief executive. 

“Peter has great experience of the investment industry and a deep knowledge of the firm, its culture and values,” he said.

Howard added that Dobson was an “outstanding” candidate for chairman and the board’s unanimous choice.

Dobson’s appointment as chairman will raise some eyebrows, however, as naming a current chief executive to the role is against the UK Corporate Governance Code.

Schroders sought to address the concerns in a letter by Howard to shareholders.

In it, Howard acknowledges that the appointment goes against best practice laid out in the code but notes that the company consulted major shareholders ahead of today’s announcement.

“Michael has enjoyed the strong support of the shareholders as chief executive, and we believe that he will, as chairman, continue to serve their interests as effectively as he has in the past,” Howard said.

“The board does not regard this appointment as setting a precedent at Schroders, and the separation of the roles of chairman and chief executive remains in place.”

Both Harrison and Dobson will assume their new positions in early April.