AJ Bell hires Helena Morrissey as chair designate

Helena Morrissey

Salford-based investment giant AJ Bell plc said on Tuesday that Helena Morrissey has been appointed as a non-executive director of the firm with the intention of her being appointed to succeed Les Platts as chair at the company’s next AGM in January 2022.

Morrissey will join the AJ Bell board as chair designate on July 1, 2021.

Helena is currently lead non-executive director for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, reporting to the Foreign Secretary and has recently stepped down as non-executive director at St James’s Place plc,” said AJ Bell.

“Previously she was head of personal investing at Legal & General Investment Management and prior to that was chief executive at Newton Investment Management for 15 years.

“In 2010 Helena founded the 30% Club and has played a leading role in improving diversity on the boards of ‘UK plc’.”

AJ Bell also announced that Evelyn Bourke has been appointed as non-executive director and will also join the board on July 1, 2021.

“Evelyn is currently non-executive director at Marks & Spencer Group plc and non-executive director and chair of audit committee at Bank of Ireland Group plc.

“She was chief executive of Bupa until December 2020 and previously held senior roles at a number of financial services businesses including Friends Provident, Standard Life and Chase de Vere.” 

AJ Bell senior independent director Laura Carstensen said: “The appointments of Helena Morrissey and Evelyn Bourke further strengthen the AJ Bell Board and will help develop the company’s ambitious growth strategy.

“They each have a broad depth of experience in a range of financial services business and we are confident this will bring new ideas to the business that will benefit all our stakeholders. 

“The board and I would like to thank Les for the vital role he has played in the growth and success of AJ Bell as a director since 2008 and as Chair since 2014.”

Platts said: “It has been a great honour to chair the board at AJ Bell and to help steer the company through its successful IPO in 2018.

“The business is full of great people who are totally focused on serving its customers and I’ll leave knowing it has a very bright future.

“I look forward to welcoming Helena and Evelyn to the Board in July and handing over the Chair to Helena early next year.”

Morrissey said: “I’ve long admired AJ Bell and its commitment to helping people to invest.

“Its low cost, easy to use investment platform is exactly what people need to help them start their investing journey and build financial security for themselves and their families.

“The business is growing quickly and I’m looking forward to joining the team to help build on that success and shape the future direction of the company.”

Bourke said: “AJ Bell is a fantastic business operating in an exciting part of the market. 

“More than ever people need to take control of their long-term savings and investments, whether that be via a financial adviser or doing it themselves. 

“Whichever route they prefer, AJ Bell offers the products and investment solutions they need to build and manage their wealth and I’m looking forward to contributing to the next phase of its development.”