PEOPLE MOVES: H&R Block, Blackstone, Crestbridge

H&R Block

H&R Block, the Kansas City, Missouri-based, globally-active tax preparation company, has named Jeff Jones – a former president of Uber who left that taxi  out over the company’s “beliefs and approach to leadership” in the middle of a sexism scandal – as its chief executive officer. Jones, pictured left, had been at Uber only six months, having left Target, where he had been head of marketing, to take the role at San Francisco-based car hire firm Uber.

In a statement announcing Jones’s appointment, H&R Block said he would start as its CEO on 9 October. He will succeed Tom Gerke, who will continue to serve as interim president and CEO until then.

Gerke will remain with H&R Block after Jones arrives, as general counsel and chief administrative officer, the company said.

Among the achievements for which Jones has been recognised during his 27 year management career was helping to guide Target Corp back from a damaging 2013 data breach. Other previous roles included stints with The Gap, Coca-Cola and Leo Burnett.

H&R Block has a presence in the Canadian, Australian and Indian markets, as well as offering a service to American expatriates, which it began to ramp up a few years ago in response to the growing difficulties American expatriates have been having with their tax responsibilities, in the wake of the introduction of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. The company was founded in 1955 by brothers Henry and Richard Bloch, and listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in 1962.

Blackstone

Blackstone, the NYSE-listed, New York-based private equity giant founded in the 1980s by Peter Peterson and Stephen Schwarzman, has named Katsuyuki Kuki chairman and representative director for Japan.

In the role, which a company spokesperson said was newly-created, Kuki will “advise and support Blackstone’s investing and capital raising efforts in Japan, as the firm continues to expand its presence in the country”, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

Prior to joining Blackstone, Kuki had been chairman of banking at JP Morgan in Japan, and spent nine years at the company “in various leadership roles” in its Investment Banking division. He began his career at the Japan Development Bank and subsequently, at Shearson Lehman Hutton in New York, and has also held senior leadership positions at UBS Securities and Lehman Brothers in Japan, Blackstone said. He has a BA in International Relations from the University of Tokyo and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Blackstone has been an active investor in the Japanese real estate market since 2010, and says it has committed to and/or invested in Y650bn (US$5.7bn) worth of total transaction value in the country.

It says it has also established “strong relationships with Japanese investors” with more than US$15bn worth of limited partner capital raised there since 2009.

Crestbridge

Crestbridge, the Jersey-based independent trust, fund and corporate services provider, has named Michael Newton to head up its Fund Services operations in Jersey, and John MacFeeters to the post of client director.

Newton and MacFeeters  will join current Crestbridge directors Sarah Rayson, Elliot Refson and Alex Le Quesne, “with a remit to develop the firm’s international funds proposition from its Jersey office”, the company said on Tuesday.

Both roles are newly-created, reflecting Crestbridge’s strategic plan to grow its international funds business, a company spokesperson said.

Newton, pictured left,  joins Crestbridge from State Street in Jersey, where he had been a senior vice president. Prior to that, he had been managing director of the Swedish-owned private equity firm EQT Funds Management Ltd in Guernsey, where he worked for more than 12 years. He is  a member of the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association’s Channel Islands Committee.

MacFeeters comes to the company after more than 10 years as a practising lawyer specialising in Jersey funds, as well as being a Solicitor of the Royal Court of Jersey.

Most recently he had been a senior associate with Mourant Ozannes, the international law firm, where as a senior associate he advised on fund formation and on Jersey regulatory law, advising hedge, real estate and private equity funds and fund promoters.

He also spent time recently working with the JFSC, the Jersey regulator, where he assisted its Trust Company Business/Fund Services Business Supervision and Fund Authorisation teams with various projects, including the new Jersey Private Funds regime.

As client director at Crestbridge, MacFeeters will be responsible for overseeing the administration of a portfolio of private and regulated public fund structures, while maintaining and developing relationships with existing and potential new clients and intermediaries, Crestbridge said.

In addition to Jersey, where it is based, Crestbridge maintains offices in London, Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands. In April Crestbridge announced it had established an outpost in Bahrain, through the acquisition of Ohad Trust BSC, a Manama-based business active in the same sectors.

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