JLIF chairman departs after seven years

Paul Lester’s exit is the latest at the UK firm after co-founder Andrew Charlesworth left the company in May.

The chairman of London-listed John Laing Infrastructure Fund has announced he will leave the company at the end of September.

Paul Lester has chaired the fund since its launch in 2010 but his departure comes as part of a phasing out of its original board members announced two months ago. JLIF plans to replace the five directors who have held office since JLIF's launch over the coming years to ensure a “gradual refreshment” of staff without losing key expertise in bulk.

David MacLellan, currently deputy chairman, will become chairman in October following Lester’s exit, having also held his role since 2010.

“Paul has successfully chaired the board since JLIF's launch, during which time JLIF has produced total shareholder returns of 10 percent per annum on its IPO price,” MacLellan said. “The rest of the board and I thank Paul for his contribution over the last seven years.”

The announcement of Lester’s departure comes just over six weeks after Andrew Charlesworth, a co-founder of the fund, decided to leave the firm, informing JLIF of his desire “to pursue opportunities in the global infrastructure market”. Charlesworth has been replaced by David Hardy, transitioning across from a role at sister fund John Laing Environmental Assets Group.

JLIF’s most recent deal was completed at the outset of last month, acquiring a 50 percent interest in the Croydon and Lewisham Street Lighting project from parent John Laing Investments for £8.2 million ($10.6 million; €9.3 million). The transaction brings JLIF’s total assets to 63 in a portfolio worth about £1.2 billion.