EQ Investors  

EQ Investors appoints three CEOs as Spiers steps back

EQ Investors appoints three CEOs as Spiers steps back

EQ Investors has appointed three longstanding employees into the roles of joint-CEOs after founder John Spiers stepped back.

Nath Papadacis, Sophie Kennedy, and Mark Howlett are taking the helm at EQ, with Spiers moving to the role of non-executive chairman, the company said today (March 24).

In their current roles each of the three has been responsible for a main area in the business: Papadacis is focused on operations and IT, Kennedy runs the investment management business, and Howlett heads the financial planning division.

EQ said the new leadership team would continue to build on the company’s focus on sustainable investing and its aim to be a force for good in the wider community. The firm is a certified B Corporation, meaning it has a legal requirement to balance profit with purpose.

Spiers said: “I am hugely excited about what we can achieve with this new dynamic within the senior management team. The adopted joint-CEO structure is a forward-looking step for EQ.

“I look forward to providing support and guidance to Nath, Sophie and Mark in the coming years. They have worked hard for this moment, and this is their time to take this company forward."

Spiers created EQ out of the wealth management business of Truestone in 2014, after buying it with his own money from Truestone Asset Management.

His idea was that EQ would be run on an ethical basis, owned by the staff, without the pressures of external shareholders.

Today he said he would not be selling his shareholding after stepping down.

He said: "I’d like to reaffirm that my shareholding is not and will not be for sale. A significant portion has been transferred to the EQ Foundation which now controls over 20 per cent and in due course it is my intention that it will receive the remainder.”

Spiers set up Bestinvest in 1986, and was chief executive until 2007, when the company was taken over by private equity group 3i. He returned in 2008 before leaving again in 2010.

Bestinvest merged with Tilney in 2014 and with Towry in 2016, and has since merged with Smith and Williamson last year to form a £47bn wealth management outfit expected to generate £530m in annual revenues.  

carmen.reichman@ft.com