Magellan announces its next CEO

Sophia Rahmani
Magellan Asset Management Limited - Managing Director
Magellan Asset Management Limited
Date: 15 February 2024
Position: Managing Director
By Elizabeth Fry

Magellan Financial Group has recruited Maple-Brown Abbott chief executive Sophia Rahmani as a managing director and plans to appoint her chief executive within 12 months.

Within a year,  Rahmani will replace David George, who stepped down from the top job last October.

As managing director of the firm's funds management arm, she will run operations, investment, distribution, information technology, human resources, and risk.

Initially, the incoming executive will report to the chair, Andrew Formica, who will oversee the wider group.

Magellan has been led by Formica for the last few months following the departure of George.

Once Rahmani takes over, he will switch from executive to non-executive chair.

"The Board believes that this approach, which combines Mr Formica's strong aptitude for the strategic development of the business with Ms Rahmani's substantial experience in running investment management businesses, to be the most appropriate leadership structure for the business at this juncture," the asset manager said.

"This approach provides continuity and stability for Magellan's shareholders, clients and staff, which is paramount for the business and allows for a smooth and unified transition to the longer-term structure."

Before arriving at Maple-Brown Abbott five years ago, Rahmani served as chief operating officer for Pan Asia Janus Henderson and spent eight years with Macquarie Group's asset management business.

Commenting on her appointment, she said: "I am excited to be joining Magellan, a fund manager I have admired for its focus on clients and strong historical investment performance.

Interestingly, Rahmani will earn a base salary of $850,000 plus a sign-on bonus of $700,000 and $2.5 million worth of shares over the long term.

This compares to George's base salary of $1.8 million and a signing bonus of $600,000, as well as other incentives.

In other news, Magellan has promoted Arvid Streimann to head of global equities from head of macro and co-portfolio manager of the global fund.

Meantime, Maple-Brown Abbott has appointed its operating chief Melanie McQuire interim chief executive.

She joined the boutique fund manager four years ago from Lazard Asset Management, where she spent eight years as chief operating officer of Asia Pacific.

Before this, McQuire spent seven years at Macquarie Asset Management and four years at ING Investment Management.

Maple-Brown Abbott stressed that the chief executive role does not include direct investment responsibilities.

Investment will continue to be managed by chief investment officer Garth Rossler and the relevant heads of investment strategies.

The fund manager also pointed out that the listed infrastructure business will continue to run as a discrete entity by its managing director and other co-founders.

The board thanked Rahmani for her contribution and wished her all the best for the future.

Separately, Magellan reported a 24 per cent lift in net profit after tax to $104.1 million for the December half despite a large drop in funds under management.