Electra appoints former RAC chief as chairman

Neil Johnson will assume the post as the London-listed investment trust undergoes a strategic review.

London-listed Electra Private Equity has appointed Neil Johnson as its new non-executive chairman and a director of the investment trust.

Johnson will assume the role on 12 May, taking over from interim chair Kate Barker, who stepped in following the resignation of former chairman Roger Yates on 5 November.

Yates resigned as chairman immediately following a shareholder vote to approve the nomination of Edward Bramson and Ian Brindle as board directors. Bramson and Brindle represent Sherborne Investors, the listed trust’s largest shareholder with just less than 30 percent of shares.

Sherborne had been critical of the board in a number of areas, including the performance of the trust’s underlying portfolio companies and the relationship between the board and Electra Partners, which manages its portfolio, and called for a strategic review. The review began earlier this year and is expected to deliver its results in the autumn.

With Johnson’s appointment there are now seven board members, including Bramson and Brindle.

“This appointment follows a rigorous selection process and we are delighted to appoint Neil Johnson as chairman of Electra,” said Barker, who resumes her role as senior independent director and chair of the remuneration committee, which was occupied by Roger Perkin in the interim.

“[Johnson] has extensive experience in managing and chairing a range of listed and private companies which will be of great value as the board carries out its review of investment policy and structure.”

Johnson is a non-executive chairman of London-listed polymer manufacturer Synthomer, radar, imaging and semi-conductor manufacturer e2v Technologies, and wheelchair specialist Motability Operations Group. He is also a non-executive director of the Business Growth Fund, which backs UK SMEs.

Johnson was formerly chairman of London-listed toy company Hornby, aerospace and defence engineering company Umeco, and professional services firm RSM Tenon Group, as well as chief executive officer of the Royal Automobile Club, according to his biography on the Business Growth Fund website.