Who is Chris Mackay, Magellan's (ASX:MFG) new CIO?

Who's going to run Magellan's ship instead of Hamish Douglass?

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Key points

  • Magellan shares are in freefall today
  • News that CIO Hamish Douglass is taking leave has clearly spooked investors
  • So who is Chris Mackay, the man brought in to replace him as Magellan CIO?

It has certainly been a rough day so far for the Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) share price this Monday. At the time of writing, Magellan shares are down a nasty 11.37% at $16.41. Although they dipped as low as $16.14 earlier this morning. Magellan hasn't seen these kinds of share prices since late 2014.

The fund manager is now down a depressing 78% from its all-time high of over $73 a share that we saw back in early 2020.

As we covered this morning, this dramatic slide seems to be the result of the announcement earlier today that Magellan's co-founder, chair and chief investment officer (CIO), Hamish Douglass, has "requested a period of medical leave to prioritise his health".

Mr Douglass has been under a lot of scrutiny over the past year or so as Magellan's flagship Magellan Global Fund (ASX: MGF) has struggled with chronic underperformance. The loss of the company's largest funds management mandate late last year, as well as news of Mr Douglass' divorce, hasn't helped matters.

But Magellan has brought in the big guns to account for the absence of Mr Douglass. Douglass' replacement, the company announced this morning, will be none other than Chris Mackay.

So who is Chris Mackay, and can he be the white knight that Magellan might need?

Magellan brings in Chris Mackay to fill Hamish Douglass' boots

Remember how we described Hamish Douglass as Magellan's co-founder? Well, Chris Mackay is his fellow Magellan co-founder. He also chaired Magellan, and acted as CIO, from its inception in 2006 until 2012.

Since then, he has chosen to concentrate his efforts towards managing MFF Capital Investments Ltd (ASX: MFF). MFF was the old Magellan Flagship Fund that has carved out its own path in recent years, despite the remaining links with Magellan. MFF Capital is a listed investment company (LIC) that invests in a similar fashion to some of Magellan's other funds. It also focuses primarily on the United States markets, and has companies like Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Visa Inc (NYSE: V) among its largest holdings.

As my Fool colleague reported this morning, this won't be too difficult a transition considering Mackay's longstanding relationship with Magellan and since MFF and Magellan share office space.

Still, no doubt Magellan's shareholders will be hoping for an arguably much-needed fresh start.

At the current Magellan share price, the company has a market capitalisation of $3.43 billion, with a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 12.7.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen owns MFF Capital Investments Limited. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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