Calthorpe Estates has appointed a City big-hitter as a trustee and its and chairman elect.

Rod Kent spent most of his career building up Close Brothers Group plc, where he was managing director from 1975 to 2002, then non-executive director and latterly chairman until 2008.

For the last 15 years he has served as either a non-executive director or chairman on a number of listed plc boards. He is currently a non-executive

director of Grosvenor Group Limited, the holding company of Grosvenor’s worldwide property interests, and a non-executive director of Caledonia Investments plc.

The appointment has been made following Sir Charles Nicholson’s decision to step down as chairman and retire from the business in the summer. Sir Charles, formerly group senior advisor at BP, has held the position of chairman for more than 20 years.

One of the earliest tasks for Mr Kent and his fellow trustees will be to appoint a successor to chief executive, Richard Allen, who reaches retirement age in April and who will step down in July after 16 years.