Lord Smith to take the helm at Forth Ports

Lord Smith will become chairman of Forth Ports. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Lord Smith will become chairman of Forth Ports. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Forth Ports today named Lord Smith of Kelvin, who last week delivered a package of recommendations for further Scottish devolution, as its new chairman.

Lord Smith of Kelvin has got straight back to business following his foray into politics, adding the role of chairman of Forth Ports to his portfolio of directorships.

The peer, who presented the findings of his Smith Commission into further devolution for Scotland last week, will succeed Michael Seymour when he stands down from the chair of Forth Ports at the end of the year.

Smith, who recently announced he was stepping down as chairman of Perth-based energy giant SSE, also chairs the Green Investment Bank and is a non-executive director at African financial services group Standard Bank.

He said: “Ports play a strategically vital but unsung role in supporting a strong, successful UK economy, making a huge contribution to our economic success in everything from tourism to energy.”

Forth Ports chief executive Charles Hammond added: “Lord Smith’s reputation goes before him and we are delighted to have been able to attract a businessman of his stature to join us as chairman.

“I am confident that, under his guidance, Forth Ports will continue to thrive as the company enters the next stage in its development.”

The firm -– which runs ports at Burntisland, Dundee, Grangemouth, Kirkcaldy, Leith, Methil, Rosyth and London – was bought by infrastructure fund Arcus for £746 million in 2011.

Arcus partner Stuart Gray said: “Michael Seymour has played an important role in helping to grow the Forth Ports business over the last three years and, on behalf of the shareholders, we would like to thank him for his contributions and wish him well for the future.”

Smith will step down from the board of SSE on 1 January 2016 after 13 years’ service.

Yesterday the energy group unveiled a leadership reshuffle at its electricity networks businesses. Colin Nicol, previously lead director of generation development, has been appointed managing director of distribution, reporting to chief executive Alistair Phillips-Davies.

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