Weir Group to unveil new chair as Smith steps down

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WEIR Group is expected to name a new chairman this week when Lord Smith of Kelvin announces that he is stepping down from the FTSE-100 engineering giant.

Smith is understood to have decided to retire from the Glasgow-based firm at the end of the year and will inform shareholders at the annual meeting on Wednesday.

Smith, who joined the Weir board in February 2002 and became chairman in July of that year, is thought to be staying on as chairman of Perth-based SSE, formerly Scottish & Southern Energy.

Scotland on Sunday reported yesterday that he has decided to leave Weir because of the length of time he has served.

He was unavailable for comment, but during Smith’s chairmanship Weir has undergone a period of growth which has seen it develop into one of the world’s leading specialist pumps and valves manufacturers. It operates in the mining, power and oil and gas sectors.

Glasgow-born Robert Smith, who is also a former governor of the BBC and the present chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland, qualified as a chartered accountant in 1968 and worked at ICFC, now 3i, until 1982.

He joined the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1983. From 1985 to 1989, he was managing director of Charterhouse Development Capital. He was both chairman and chief executive of Morgan Grenfell Private Equity. He became chief executive of Morgan Grenfell Asset Management (MGAM), and vice chairman of MGAM’s successor, Deutsche Asset Management.

It is understood that Weir’s former Australian chief executive, Mark Selway, who left in 2009 to join Boral, Australia’s biggest construction materials supplier, is looking to return to the UK.

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