Neil CochraneColonial First State Global Asset Management (CFS GAM) is restructuring and searching for two senior executives following the decision of Neil Cochrane, deputy chief executive and global head of business development, to retire in September, as well as the departure of the head of the UK business.

Cochrane had two stints at Colonial during his long financial services career, the second beginning in mid-2006 after he’d spent five years running the Retail Employees Superannuation Trust, Australia’s largest super fund by membership size.

After he steps down from full-time responsibiities in September, Cochrane is slated to take on"several non-executive roles that will be of considerable assistance for [CFS GAM and parent Commonwealth Bank]", according to a spokesperson, however the nature of those roles could not be confirmed at presstime.

Meanwhile Charlie Metcalfe, CEO of UK-based First State Investments, has decided to leave the business, and together with Cochrane’s retirement these have prompted global CEO Mark Lazberger to undertake a restructure. 

Michael Stapleton, the current head of business development UK/Europe, has been appointed regional managing director, Asia and Japan, overseeing all CFS GAM’s activities in the region and reporting to Lazberger.

"Bringing our Asian and Japanese businesses together under one region mirrors a  structure that we are adopting in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) which will also operate under a single leadership," the spokesperson said.

Following Metcalfe’s resignation, Stapleton will also be acting as regional managing director of EMEA until a permanent replacement is found.

Another search is underway to fill a newly created position, regional managing director of marketing, business development and sustainability, Australia and New Zealand. Tony McFadyen’s local business development team, which currently reports to Cochrane, will report to this new role.

Lazberger said he was "saddened" by Cochrane’s decision to retire this year, but "grateful to Neil for remaining with the business throughout the transition to our new global structure, to ensure it is successfully implemented. The new structure streamlines the management of our international business and supports its future growth, in line with our stated strategic objectives.”

Cochrane was in business development with AMP and then Colonial up until the mid-1990s, when he decided to return to his native South Africa and work for financial services firms which wanted to help rebuild the country in the post-Apartheid era.

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