Kirsten Morton (left), David George and Hamish McLennan

Retaining talent has been the key priority for Magellan Financial Group as it looks to rebuild the troubled funds management business.

Speaking at a shareholder conference after posting its FY22 results, chair Hamish McLennan said to mitigate further talent losses the firm implemented a staff engagement and retention program in March.

The program includes a retention bonus plan to be to staff in two instalments during September in 2024 and 2025, as well as the issuance of employee options.

Additionally, the organisation has started a board review and renewal program.

“The program is focused on attracting high quality non-executive directors to the board who will add skills and insights that align to the news of our core funds management business and strategic direction,” McClennan said.

McLellan reiterated the firm’s desire to rebuild trust with clients.

“We’re extremely focused on returning value to Magellan’s clients and shareholders. There is much work to do but we are committed to rebuilding trust and returning to growth.”

New boss

David George was appointed as CEO on 11 May with his start date originally meant to be last Monday; it was instead brought forward to 19 July.

He didn’t mince words describing the state of the company.

“Our clients have a choice of who managed their money and over the last 12 months it’s clear the events have impacted our client’s confidence in us,” George said. “My priority as incoming CEO and the focus of the entire team is on rebuilding that confidence and trust.”

Goerge said he has a “good perspective on what ‘good’ looks” like.

“In my career I’ve had the opportunity to see 1,000 investment managers, investment processes and cultures in practice.”

On that note, George touted the benefits of active management in the current environment.