Loring Ward Appoints New President
and Chief Executive Officer
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada - Loring Ward International Ltd. today announced that it has successfully completed the search for a senior executive based in the United States to lead the company through its next phase of development.
Effective February 3, 2005, Donald J. Herrema will succeed Martin Weinberg as President and Chief Executive Officer of Loring Ward International Ltd. As a former CEO of such major wealth management companies as Bessemer Trust and Atlantic Trust, Mr. Herrema will direct Loring Ward's operations out of New York, working to complete its transition into a truly U.S. based operation and capitalize fully on its future potential. Mr. Weinberg will remain active as non-executive Chairman of the company's board of directors.
"We are delighted to have been able to attract a person of Don's caliber to lead our organization," said Mr. Weinberg. "The significant executive management experience he brings, along with his deep understanding of our target markets in the U.S., assures me that this important leadership position is being filled by the right person at the right time."
Mr. Weinberg recently announced his intentions to step down as President & CEO and that a search was underway for a suitable replacement. The company has been in the process of steadily reassigning key management responsibilities from executives in Canada to those based in the U.S. over the past year, as well as reorganizing its business units to provide more strategic focus.
Details of the contract were not announced but Loring Ward advised it included a grant of 4,500,000 restricted shares. Up to 3,250,000 of these shares would be earned over a three-year period based upon the extent that annual bonuses were earned. The remaining 1,250,000 shares would be earned on completion of the initial three year term of the contract or earlier under certain circumstances.
The appointment of Mr. Herrema brings the company one step closer to its goal of fully exporting the management of its operations to a completely U.S. based team. In his new role, he will assume responsibility for the overall management of the public company and for enhancing Loring Ward's presence in the U.S. marketplace, improving recruitment and acquisition opportunities, and strengthening the management of all of the company's core business interests.
Mr. Herrema began his career in financial services with the Wells Fargo Bank in San Francisco, concluding his tenure there as President of Wells Fargo Securities, Inc. He then joined the Bessemer Trust Company in New York (one of the largest private wealth and trust firms in the U.S.) as its Senior Executive Vice President responsible for all client account activities. He was subsequently promoted to Chief Executive Officer, during which time the company's assets under management rose to $36 billion (US). Most recently he held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Trust (AMVESCAP's Private Wealth Management Division), and Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BlackSterling Partners, a private equity investment firm.
"I am pleased to be joining such an exceptional organization with its highly talented pool of people, significant future potential and clear understanding of where it wants to go in the U.S. marketplace," said Mr. Herrema.
"Having been in the financial services industry for many years, the Loring Ward story is one that holds a unique appeal for me," he added. "The history and heritage of the company, and the shared vision, integrity and enterprise of the professionals involved are very impressive."
"I believe the company has all of the components required to grow and expand each of its core business segments, and I look forward to working with the entire Loring Ward team towards increasing our market share and driving enhanced value for all of our stakeholders in the years to come. Now that I have joined the company, I intend to become a shareholder by purchasing shares in the market and plan to increase my equity position further over time."
Mr. Herrema earned his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from Whittier College, Whittier, California, and his Masters in Economics from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
The company also announced that Mr. Herrema had been appointed to its board of directors effective immediately.
The company further announced that Mr. Kishore Kapoor, Executive Vice President, Corporate Development is also in the process of transitioning his responsibilities to senior executives based in the United States. "Now that Don has been confirmed to succeed Marty, our mandate of transforming Loring Ward into a truly U.S. based organization is that much closer to being completed," said Mr. Kapoor, who will be staying on until June 30, 2005 or until such time as the transition of his duties is complete. "It's time now for a new chapter in the company's history to unfold under Don's vision and leadership, and for us to begin exploring new challenges and opportunities," he added.
Loring Ward International Ltd. provides wealth, career and life management services to some of America's most enterprising and successful individuals and families through its Family Offices and independent Financial Advisors. It is an unlisted public company with principal operating subsidiaries in California and New York. The company's corporate offices are located in Los Angeles, San Jose, New York and Winnipeg.
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For further information, please contact:
EVP, Corporate Development
Loring Ward International Ltd.