Maclays appoints corporate head as new CEO

Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens has elected corporate head Kenneth Shand as its next chief executive, following the decision of Chris Smylie to stand down at the end of his three-year term.

Glasgow-based Shand will take over from Smylie on 1 June. Until Smylie returns to his role as a planning partner at the firm, the duo will work together on a transitional basis.

Maclays said Smylie had chosen not to stand for a second term. The firm has not yet chosen a successor to Shand as corporate head.

Smylie’s tenure has seen the firm through severe economic pressure. Turnover dropped from £48.6m in 2010/11 to £40.9m in 2012/13 and the firm’s average profit per equity partner last year fell by 22 per cent to £211,000 (29 July 2013). Smylie said of last year’s figures that a “root and branch” review had positioned the firm for a better future.

The firm made 28 redundancies last year (28 September 2013) but benefitted from the collapse of rival Scottish firm Semple Fraser, hiring six Glasgow and one Edinburgh partner (8 March 2013).

Maclays chairman Robert Laing thanked Smylie for his work as CEO and added that the firm was currently ahead of both its budget and its performance last year, with deal volume and value “significantly” up in the past few months. 

Smylie, who was previously Maclays’ real estate head, took over from Magnus Swanson as CEO in 2011 (21 January 2011). Swanson had served three terms in the role.