A veteran businessman tasked with drawing up new powers for the Scottish Parliament has been appointed as new chairman of Alliance Trust.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, the man chosen by Prime Minister David Cameron to lead a commission examining what new powers should be devolved to Holyrood following the 2014 vote, is expected to take over at the helm of the trust on February 1.
The appointment comes after a turbulent 12 months for the Dundee-based finance house in which it was forced into a major restructure after a high-profile spat with its single largest shareholder Elliott Advisors.
The company announced a new board structure in the autumn, a move which saw chief executive Katherine Garrett-Cox lose her seat at the top table, and in late November it confirmed that chairman Karin Forseke was standing aside.
Ms Forseke was replaced on an interim basis by Gregor Stewart.
He will continue to serve as deputy chairman under the new structure.
Lord Robert Smith is seen as a “safe pair of hands” for the trust and his appointment brings significant corporate and financial services to the table.
The 71-year-old previously chaired Perth-based utility SSE and Glasgow engineering giant Weir Group and chairs the Edinburgh-based UK Green Investment Bank and Forth Ports Limited.
“Alliance Trust is an important business with a long and proud history in Scotland and around the world,” Lord Smith said.
“I am looking forward to getting started and playing my part in delivering the changes that are necessary to return the trust to the levels of performance upon which it has earned its reputation and success.
“I am particularly pleased to be working with Gregor Stewart as my deputy chairman and Karl Sternberg as the senior independent director.”
Mr Stewart said the Trust was looking forward to a new era under Lord Smith’s guidance.
“ The board has been working hard on implementing the plans announced on October 1 2015, which include separate boards for our savings platform and investment management subsidiaries.
“The board’s focus is on investment performance, on creating natural demand for our shares and on reducing the trust’s discount.”
Shares closed down 5.50 at 486.00 on Thursday.