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Long-standing Zenith chief to step down, replacement named

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Current CEO David Wright has made the decision to “pass the baton” to Zenith’s COO.

David Wright has announced that he will step down as CEO of Zenith Investment Partners at the end of this year, when chief operating officer (COO) Jason Huddy will take over the role.

Mr Wright, who jointly founded Zenith in 2002, is set to transition into the new position of investment director but will remain on the firm’s local board and executive team.

The decision to step down was reached after much consideration and reflection, according to Mr Wright, who suggested that now is the right time to “pass the baton” to Mr Huddy.

“Given his time with the business and strong understanding of Zenith’s operations and client base, I’m confident our clients, stakeholders and staff will be in good hands under his leadership. I believe that the business requires an experienced, strategic leader and Jason is that leader,” Mr Wright said.

“I’m genuinely looking forward to remaining with the business and using my extensive fund research and portfolio management experience to support the portfolio solutions, research and sales teams to deliver on their client service responsibilities. My new role allows more time to focus on areas of the business which I’m really passionate about.”

Mr Huddy originally joined Zenith as COO in 2019 and has amassed more than 30 years of experience in the wealth and funds management industry.

He began his career at National Mutual (AXA) before spending over 16 years at Macquarie, including three years leading the firm’s banking and financial services business in the UK.

Prior to joining Zenith, Mr Huddy also worked at NAB Capital Markets, NAB Asset Management, and as an executive director of a Melbourne-based boutique funds manager.

“I’m delighted to be moving into the CEO role and also to continue to work with David and our broader team in delivering our research, portfolio and data services to clients,” Mr Huddy said.

“Over recent years, Zenith’s fund research and managed account capabilities have significantly expanded to include the super research services of Chant West, and the data and technology capabilities of our parent company, FE fundinfo.

“We continue to be an ambitious company for our clients and staff and I look forward to continuing the client-focused growth that David and the team have achieved to date.”

While noting that stepping down was not an easy decision to make, Mr Wright said that he believes that it is the right move for the business and noted that it will allow him to spend more time working directly with the Zenith’s clients and staff.

“Zenith is a business that I have been intimately involved in building over the past two decades and I remain committed to its success,” he said.

“Our collective achievements over that time have exceeded our expectations and I remain confident that under the changed leadership structure, the business is on a strong path to deliver its high-quality product and service offering to clients.”

The firm has announced a range of new appointments so far this year, including business development managers for Victoria and Tasmania as well as NSW and the ACT, along with a new head of sales.