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Helena Morrissey, one of the most high profile women in the UK’s financial services industry, is to step down as chief executive of Newton Investment Management after 15 years in charge of the company.

Ms Morrissey (pictured), who is also a leading campaigner for gender diversity in company boardrooms, will become non-executive chair of the board of directors of Newton, writes Madison Marriage.

She will be replaced by Hanneke Smits, who was most recently head of investments at Adams Street Partners, the $27bn Chicago-based private equity firm.

Ms Morrissey, who is also chair of the Investment Association, the UK’s trade body for asset managers, said in a statement:

After 15 years as Newton’s CEO, I am enormously proud of the service we have provided to our clients, and to have led such a talented team.

The time is now right for me to move on to the next phase of my career and for a new CEO at Newton to drive its ongoing growth. I am looking forward to assisting Hanneke over the coming months while also continuing my roles with the Investment Association and the Financial Services Trade and Investment Board, among others.

Mitchell Harris, chief executive of BNY Mellon Investment Management, the US-based parent company of Newton, said:

We are thrilled to welcome Hanneke to Newton’s board of directors and as chief executive officer designate.

She has deep investment knowledge, an impressive track record of developing senior leaders and investment professionals, and proven expertise growing a global firm across developed and emerging markets. As Newton continues to expand its international footprint, I am confident in Hanneke’s ability to lead the firm into its next phase of growth.

Image from Getty

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