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Magellan founder takes medical leave

Magellan founder leave

The head of Magellan Financial Group has stepped aside from his duties to take an undefined period of medical leave.

Magellan Financial Group chair and chief investment officer Hamish Douglass has stepped away from his duties to take an unspecified period of medical leave.

The move was announced by the Magellan board in a company notice released to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that stated Douglass would take leave “after a period of intense pressure and focus on both his professional and personal life”, and which supported his move to focus on his health.

Magellan’s inaugural chairman and chief investment officer from 2006 to 2012, Chris Mackay, has been asked by the board to oversee the management of the investment firm’s global equity retail funds and global equity institutional mandates. Mackay is currently the managing director and portfolio manager of MFF Capital Investments, which shares offices with Magellan.

Also rejoining the company is former head of research Nikki Thomas, who will take on the role of co-portfolio manager of Magellan’s global equity strategies. Thomas had previously worked with Magellan from 2007 to 2017 and was most recently global portfolio manager at Alphinity Investment Management.

Douglass’s leave of absence has also required two changes to Magellan’s board, with former deputy chair Hamish McLennan being appointed as Magellan’s independent non-executive chair in place of Douglass and Robert Fraser stepping into the role of deputy chair in place of McLennan.

Fraser is currently the independent non-executive chair of Magellan Asset Management, Magellan’s responsible entity and main operating subsidiary, and will continue in that position.

“The board wholeheartedly supports Hamish’s decision to prioritise his health and Magellan is committed to providing him the time and support he requires,” McLennan said.

He also welcomed the return of Mackay and Thomas, noting the latter was a key part in the development of the processes used by Magellan investment teams and held a “deep knowledge” of the manager’s investment universe.

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