People

CFOs on the Move: Week ending November 23

TDC, Zurich Financial Services, Ulster Bank, CashGuard, Publicis, Northern Rock, House of Fraser, Grosvenor, Mulberry
Eila RanaNovember 23, 2007

• Jesper Ovesen—the finance chief widely credited with helping to turn around Lego, the Danish toy maker—is to become CFO of TDC, the Danish telecoms company, in January. Ovesen, who was at Lego between 2003 and 2006, is currently CEO of Kirkbi, an investment company. He replaces Hans Munk Nielsen, who announced his retirement in October after 16 years as CFO.

• Zurich Financial Services has appointed Andreas Grünbichler CFO of its International Businesses (IB) division. In his new role, he will be responsible for all of the IB finance and actuarial functions, with their various CFOs reporting directly to him. Grünbichler joined Zurich in 2004 as head of group risk management policy and was most recently group chief risk officer.

• Michael Torpey, group finance director of Ireland’s Ulster Bank, is stepping down to “pursue other interests.” Torpey had held the group finance director’s position since December 2003. Prior to that he had been finance chief, and then CEO, of First Active—the building society that was acquired by Ulster Bank’s parent, the Royal Bank of Scotland, in early 2004.

• Lars Ingman, CFO of CashGuard—the Swedish cash handling and logistics company—is to leave in Spring 2008 after just a few months in the post. Ingman, who joined in September 2007, is to take up a new position outside the group. Agne Pettersson, CashGuard’s managing director and CEO, said it was “regrettable” that Ingman had decided to leave but that a search for a replacement would start immediately.

• Graham Stewart, CFO of the UK arm of French advertising agency Publicis, has been promoted to UK chief operating officer. As well as overseeing the commercial operations and financial management of the UK group, he will support CEO Richard Pinder in day-to-day management.

• Northern Rock, the beleaguered British bank, has appointed Simon Laffin as a non-executive director. Laffin is a former CFO of Safeway, the UK supermarket group. Bryan Sanderson, the bank’s chairman, said Laffin had “the right experience to help Northern Rock through its ongoing strategic review.” Northern Rock’s share price has plummeted in recent weeks after customers rushed to withdraw their savings when it emerged that the bank was overly-exposed to the US sub prime mortgage crisis.

• House of Fraser, the UK department store, has promoted its director of financial services, Mark Gifford, to the post of CFO. Gifford replaces Stefan Cassar, who is leaving the company to “pursue new challenges.”

• Roger Blundell has been appointed finance director of Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, the UK arm of Grosvenor, the privately-owned international property group. Blundell, who was formerly group finance director of the UK mortgage lender Kensington Group, replaces Richard Handley, who is leaving Grosvenor to “embark on a new stage in his personal and professional life.”

• UK luxury fashion brand Mulberry has appointed Roger Mather as its new CFO. He succeeds Guy Rutherford, who is leaving the company to “pursue other opportunities.”