CFOs on the Move: Week ending November 9

Alcatel-Lucent, ABN Amro, Volkswagen, KPMG Europe, UBS, BNP Paribas, BBC, Aer Lingus, Mobistar, Standard Life Investments, Bovis Homes.
Eila RanaNovember 12, 2007

• Jean-Pascal Beaufret, CFO of Franco-American telecoms-equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent, is to leave the company as part of a major management reorganisation. He will be replaced by Hubert de Pesquidoux, head of the company’s Enterprise Group. Patricia Russo, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, said Beaufret “was instrumental in the financial turnaround of Alcatel” prior to its merger with Lucent Technologies in 2006. The latest management reorganisation is one of a range of measures—including 4,000 job cuts—announced in the wake of a third profit warning in less than a year.

• Huibert Boumeester, the ABN Amro CFO who was recently replaced by John Hourican, has been appointed chief risk officer at the Dutch bank, which was recently taken over by a consortium of UK, Belgian and Spanish banks.

• Hans Dieter Poetsch, CFO of German car maker Volkswagen, has been appointed chairman of the supervisory board of Skoda Auto—part of the Volkswagen group. He replaces Vratislav Kulhanek, who retired from the board on October 31st “to pursue other interests in the automotive sector.” In a separate appointment, Michael Lohscheller, Volkswagen’s director of group marketing and sales planning, has been appointed executive vice president and CFO of the group’s US operations.

• KPMG Europe—the group created from the merger of the UK, German and Swiss operations of the Big Four accountancy firm—has appointed Bernd Erle as finance director. He was formerly the group’s head of risk management. According to press reports, Jaap van Everdingen, the CFO of KPMG Holland, was originally earmarked for the role but the appointment fell through when the Dutch operation voted against joining the merger.

• Mark Branson, CEO of UBS Securities Japan, is to relocate to the Swiss investment bank’s Zurich headquarters to become CFO of its global wealth management and business banking division. The division was recently divided into four regional business areas—Asia Pacific; western Europe, Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa; north, east and central Europe; and the Americas. The bank said the reorganisation would allow it to take advantage of growth in its wealth management business beyond its domestic market by strengthening its presence in overseas markets and being closer to international clients.

• France’s BNP Paribas has appointed Michael Bermingham CFO of its operations in the Republic of Ireland. Bermingham joins from Fortis Group’s Dublin office, where he was an executive director, responsible for the strategic and commercial development of the merchant banking, corporate and institutional banking business.

• Neil Chugani, a former director of corporate finance at British Sky Broadcasting, has been appointed CFO of BBC Worldwide—the commercial arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Chugani—who joins from the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs, where he was an executive director—replaces David King, who has been appointed managing director of acquisitions.

• Aer Lingus, the low-cost Irish airline, has appointed David Manifold as deputy finance director in a move to “strengthen its finance team.” Manifold was previously FD at Perlico, a provider of fixed line and broadband services in the Republic of Ireland. He will report to Greg O’Sullivan, Aer Lingus’s finance director.

• Werner De Laet, CFO of Belgian telecoms company Mobistar, has been appointed acting CEO following the departure of Bernard Moschéni to “take on a new professional challenge.” Mobistar has started the search for a new CEO.

• Colin Walklin, former CFO of the UK credit card company Barclaycard, has become the first finance director of Standard Life Investments (SLI), the UK fund management firm. Reporting directly to CEO Keith Skeoch, Walklin joins at a time when SLI’s investor base is spreading from the UK to Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East. “Such is the range of opportunities and challenges that our business now faces, I felt it was important that we had a director in place who was dedicated to all aspects of finance,” said Skeoch.

• Reinhard Leidl is to step down as CFO of Direct Group, the recently sold book-club group of Bertelsmann, the German media company.

• Bovis Homes, the UK housebuilder, has appointed its former group finance director—David Ritchie—as its new CEO. Ritchie had been group FD since 2002, before taking on the post of group managing director in January 2007. He becomes CEO in July 2008, replacing Malcolm Harris, who will take over as the group’s non-executive chairman.

• Ashley Almanza, CFO of UK oil company BG Group, is expected to be named as the next chairman of the UK’s Hundred Group of Finance Directors on November 26th. He will replace Philip Broadley, who has stepped down from his post as CFO of Prudential, the UK-based insurance group.