Bruno Schroder is reportedly considering putting his 48% shareholding in the family firm behind a board seat for his only daughter, the Daily Mail has reported, despite her lack of finance experience.
Leonie Fane would assume the director’s chair left empty by the 85-year-old Bruno Schroder’s future retirement. The great-great grandson of Henry Schroder, who founded the business in 1804, Bruno (pictured) has served on the board since 1963, and is currently a member of the nominations committee.
A company spokesperson said: 'As a publicly listed company there is a process that the board is required to follow if there are any changes to be made.'
The family is currently listed collectively in the 24th slot on the Sunday Times Rich List, with an estimated fortune of £5.2 billion, up £979 million over the year to May.
The overwhelming majority of that wealth is tied up in their holding in Schroders - which manages a total £420 billion in client assets – with the de facto controlling stake valued by the Times at £4.7 billion.
According to Companies House documents, Fane has served on the board of the Schroder Charity Trust for just over 20 years, and on the board of their 18,500 acre Scottish family estate since 1997.
She is listed as director of a number of other family enterprises and charity trusts, but appears to have little direct experience of the finance sector.
Another family member, Philip Mallinckrodt, last year stood down from his executive responsibilities as head of private assets and wealth management after 20 years with the business.
Speaking to the Times, a City observer predicted that the family would get its way: ‘This is a family business that happens to be quoted. They ride a coach and horses through any governance issues.’
Schroders drew criticism and arguably reduced its powers of persuasion as an active manager when it installed long-standing chief executive Michael Dobson as chair two years ago. This flouted the generally accepted City convention of ensuring the role remained independent of the executive.