Appointment of Lord Anthony St John as Company Chairman

Appointment of Lord Anthony St John as Company Chairman and a review of 2014

Strand Hanson, the independent, advisory-led, modern merchant bank, is delighted to announce the appointment of Lord (Anthony) St John of Bletso as Chairman of the Company. Anthony joined Strand Hanson as a senior non-executive director in April 2014 and replaces The Hon. Robert Hanson. Robert is leaving the Board but will continue to be a senior adviser to the Company, while focussing his attention on his other business activities.

Emerging markets, and in particular Africa, are Anthony’s primary area of expertise. Having worked closely with numerous African-based political and business leaders and provided advice to the UK Government on a wide range of African-related issues, his presence within the Strand Hanson team has already proved to be of significant benefit to its clients seeking to do business in emerging markets, where it retains its status as a leading adviser on the AIM Market.

The first AIM adviser to establish an African office, Strand Hanson has one of the largest portfolios of African clients listed on the London Stock Exchange, representing approximately a third of the African companies listed on the AIM Market, and works with an increasing number of entrepreneurs, private companies and investment houses focussed on the region.

Strand Hanson enjoyed a strong operational and financial performance well across the business during 2014, despite it being a challenging year for financial markets globally. Whilst fluctuating commodity prices reduced the number of transactions in the natural resources sectors, increased interest in technology and agriculture businesses enhanced our deal flow and demonstrated the importance of the team’s core strengths – successfully executing complex, particularly cross-border, transactions.

Activity in 2014 was spread across a wide range of geographies and included IPO’s, restructurings, M&A, private and pre-IPO fundraisings. For further details of these transactions please visit

Robert Hanson, who will continue to be a senior advisor to Strand Hanson, said, “I have enjoyed my six years as Chairman of Strand Hanson immensely and I wish Anthony and the team the best for the future. The additional time will allow me to focus more time as Executive Chairman of Hanson Asset Management, which is at a very exciting stage of its development.”

Commenting on his appointment, Lord St John, said “I have much enjoyed my first months with Strand Hanson and am therefore delighted to take on this new role. I have found that my experiences and contacts add another perspective to the business and support the overall offering to our clients seeking to do business effectively in Africa and other emerging markets. Certainly, the current pipeline bodes well for 2015, despite continuing market turbulence.”

Simon Raggett, Chief Executive of Strand Hanson, commented, “2014 was a good year for us and Anthony has been involved in much of our activity and has brought new ideas and energy to our business. I am very pleased that he has agreed to become more involved, and that Robert will continue to be associated with the Company.”

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Notes to Editors

About Lord St John of Bletso

Aged 56, Anthony qualified as a solicitor in South Africa and graduated with a Masters in Law at London University. Between 1985 and 2002, he worked as an oil analyst at County NatWest Securities and then Smith New Court Plc and thereafter served as a senior consultant to Merrill Lynch until 2008.

Between 2004 and 2012, he was Non-Executive Chairman of Spiritel Plc, a telecommunications service provider and also served as a Non-Executive Director at Regal Petroleum, Sharp Interpak, WMRC and Pecaso. He has also been on the Advisory Board of Infinity SDC, Chayton Capital and Ariya Capital with the focus on agriculture and business opportunities in Africa. He is a Non-Executive Director of Albion Ventures LLP and Chairman of the Governing Board of Certification International.