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British Land has announced it has appointed current Marston’s chair William Rucker as its own chair designate.

Banking veteran Rucker will join the British Land board as chair of the board and chair of the nomination committee at the conclusion of its AGM on 9 July 2024.

He succeeds incumbent chair Tim Score on that date, when Score will stand down after five years as chair and 10 years on the board.

Having been in place since October 2018, he will step down as chair and a member of the board of Marston’s prior to taking up his role at British Land.

Marston’s is conducting a “comprehensive search process” to appoint his successor.

Since January 2023, Rucker has also been chair of Intermediate Capital Group.

He was most recently chair of investment bank Lazard in the UK, which he joined in 1987 from Arthur Andersen. He also has extensive experience in the real estate sector having previously been chair of Crest Nicholson Holdings (2011-2018) and Quintain Estates and Development (2009-2015), where British Land’s CEO, Simon Carter, was finance director from 2015-2017.

Score said: “I am very proud to have served as chair of British Land and am pleased to hand over to someone of William’s calibre and experience to steer the business through its next chapter. I am confident he will provide the board with strong and effective leadership and will be a great support to Simon and the executive team”.

Rucker commented: “I have long admired British Land as a company with a terrific heritage and am delighted to be taking on the role of chair. It is a fantastic business with a strong track record and a highly effective team at its helm. I look forward to working with the board and the team as we take the business forward”.

Carter added: “I am hugely grateful to Tim for his advice and support during his tenure as chair. British Land has benefited greatly from his expertise and guidance over his ten years on the board.

“I am very much looking forward to working with William again. He has extensive relevant experience, having chaired both public and private UK real estate businesses. His insights will be invaluable as we continue to execute our value add strategy and look to seize growth opportunities in the portfolio and those emerging in the market”.

On Marston’s, Rucker said: “It has been a real privilege and honour to serve as chair of Marston’s plc. I am confident that Marston’s is in great shape and in good hands as the company prepares for the next phase of its development with CEO Justin Platt at the helm. I wish Justin and the wider team every success in the future.”

Morning update

On a quiet morning for grocery news, Imperial Brands has launched a second share buyback tranche of up to £550m following the completion of its £1bn repurchase programme in 2023.

It announced its intention to repurchase up to £1.1bn of shares in the period from 6 October 2023 to the end of September 2024.

This is part of the company’s commitment to an ongoing, multi-year buyback programme that will deliver a material reduction in the capital base over time, which, together with our progressive dividend policy, will provide an ongoing source of shareholder returns.

The latest tranche will see it repurchase up to £550m of its shares commencing from 11 March 2024 and expected to end no later than 29 October 2024.

On the markets this morning, the FTSE 100 has opened down 0.2% to 7,647.1pts.

Early risers include McBride, up 2.9% to 96.7p, Imperial Brands, up 2.8% to 1,740p, and Virgin Wines, up 2.5% to 39p.

Fallers include Glanbia, down 6.6% to €16.62, Wynnstay, down 2.5% to 378p and SSP Group, down 0.7% to 221p.

This week in the City

An otherwise quiet week is highlighted by the John Lewis Partnership annual results on Thursday, which is expected to see the group return to profit after three years of losses.

Otherwise, Thursday also brings annual results from Deliveroo.

Domino’s Pizza Group posts full year results tomorrow.

Troubled HelloFresh will publish fourth quarter results on Friday.