IP Group plc (LON:IPO), the developer of intellectual property-based businesses, has today announced that following the successful flotation of the Group’s largest holding, Oxford Nanopore Technologies plc (LON:ONT), Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer, and Mike Townend, Chief Investment Officer, are retiring and stepping down from the IP Group Board from today.
The Board is delighted to announce that Greg Smith, Chief Financial Officer, will succeed Alan as Chief Executive Officer and David Baynes, the Group’s Chief Operating Officer, will take on executive responsibility for finance and becomes Chief Financial and Operating Officer.
To facilitate an orderly handover and transition, both Alan and Mike will remain as employees, serving their six-month notice periods until 06 April 2022 and as consultants for a minimum of 12 months from 07 April 2022.
As referenced in the Group’s 2020 Annual Report & Accounts, the Nomination Committee used an external executive search and leadership consultancy to assist in identifying and assessing candidates both internally and externally as part of succession planning. The Committee deferred finalising its recommendation to align the final decision with anticipated events in the portfolio, such as the potential Oxford Nanopore flotation, and to ensure continued stability for the Group during the pandemic. Following the flotation of Oxford Nanopore and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the Committee reconvened and its recommendations were unanimously accepted by the Board.
Sir Douglas Flint, Chairman of IP Group, said: “On behalf of the Board and the wider IP Group family, I would like to thank both Alan and Mike for the transformational contributions they have made to IP Group over the past 16 and 14 years respectively. During Alan’s tenure as CEO, the value of the portfolio has increased more than 28-fold to over £1.2bn* and has produced several companies worth more than £1bn. We are delighted that Greg will step into the role of CEO and lead the Group in its next phase. We are also pleased that Alan and Mike will continue with the Group in a consulting capacity so that the Group can continue to call on their significant experience in the sector. Greg has more than 20 years’ experience in financial services, having been in the role of CFO for more than ten years and with IP Group for more than thirteen years. He has played a central role in developing and executing the Group’s growth strategy which made him the obvious and unanimous choice to succeed Alan.”
Alan Aubrey said: “Following the successful flotation of Oxford Nanopore Technologies on the London Stock Exchange, this felt a natural moment to step back. It has been a privilege and an honour to build and lead the team at IP Group and I am proud of all that has been achieved during this time. The Group is in great shape with a strong balance sheet, a portfolio of exciting growth technology companies and opportunities and I am confident that it will go from strength to strength under Greg’s leadership. I look forward to continuing working with IP Group in a different capacity going forward and continuing to support the team in the future.”
Commenting on his new role, Greg Smith said: “It is an exciting time to be taking on the role of CEO at IP Group. The Group benefits from a very strong financial position, a portfolio of growth technology companies and an excellent pipeline. I am looking forward to building on recent successes and I am confident that IP Group will continue to deliver world-changing businesses that have real impact as well as deliver value for all stakeholders.”
The Group will consult with shareholders this Autumn on remuneration arrangements for the CEO and CFOO as part of the regular triennial review of Directors remuneration policy. IP Group will continue to align the interests of the Executive team with those of shareholders and other stakeholders and will discuss the optimum structure and level required to achieve this as part of the forthcoming consultation. Remuneration arrangements for the departing executive directors will be published on the Company’s website and included in the 2021 Annual Report in the usual way.