Geoff Lloyd, Perpetual Ltd.’s new chief executive, is fired up and ready to go.

“I’m very confident and excited about the future,” says the 43-year old, who was previously Perpetual’s head of private wealth and retail distribution.

Lloyd, who joined Perpetual just 18 months ago, replaces the fired Chris Ryan, who was dismissed by the company’s board after barely 12 months.

Ryan will be paid $1.225 million “in lieu of 12 months notice,” says Perpetual.

During his tenure, Ryan lost the high-profile fund manager John Sevior who has decided to set up his own company.

Perpetual’s net profit fell 31 per cent to $62 million in the year to June 30, 2011. Funds under management as of December 31 were $22.9 billion, down from $23.5 billion on September 30.

Net fund outflows in the fourth quarter 2011 were about $900 million, about $800 million from its equities investment unit.

“The board is charged with monitoring the CEO,” says Perpetual’s chairman Peter Scott. “We got into a position where we agreed to disagree.”

Still, Ryan’s firing surprised many.

“It was a bit of a surprise,” says Lafijani Sotiriou, the diversified financials analyst at Bell Potter Securities.

“When Geoff joined there was always a possibility he was going to become CEO.”

Lloyd will be paid $1.1 million a year plus short-term and long-term performance incentives determined by the board.

“Across the entire organisation there needs to be a stronger sense of urgency,” says Lloyd.

“In these markets it’s about getting the strategy right and then growth will come. There is no quick fix. We have to work as a team,” he says.

Lloyd says he wants “further meaningful cost reductions” and is seeking to “reinvigorate sales and distribution.”

“The key is whether the CEO can continue to get more meaningful cost reduction,” says Bell Potter analyst Sotiriou.

“Perhaps Geoff will cut faster and deeper than Chris Ryan,” he says.

Lloyd was general manager, advice and private banking at BT Financial Group and also in charge of St George’s wealth management business.

Sotiriou has a 12-month price target for Perpetual shares of $26.50. He has a “buy” recommendation on the stock.

“We believe the time to be negative on the stock has passed,” says Sotiriou. But “Geoff is a bit of an unknown quantity.”

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