Murray the adventurer takes the chair at Gulf keystone

 

The former French legionnaire and 73-year-old adventurer Simon Murray is the new chairman of oil company Gulf Keystone.

Murray, who became the oldest man to trek unsupported across the South Pole in 2004, will join the company ahead of its annual meeting in Bermuda this month.

This threatens to be a stormy affair with M&G leading an investor rebellion over pay and corporate governance at the AIM-listed company. Gulf Keystone has already agreed to split Todd Kozel's role as executive chairman.

"Todd and his team have done a great job building Gulf Keystone from a small exploration company into a multi-billion dollar company," Murray said. 

"I look forward to being able to utilise my experience and expertise in assisting the board with its strategic direction, especially in connection with the company's planned move onto the main market later this year."

Murray, who built his reputation at Asian conglomerate Jardine Matheson, stepped down as chairman of Glencore earlier this year following its merger with Xstrata.

During his time at the FTSE-100 company he was criticised for making sexist comments in an interview but later claimed his words had been taken out of context.

Shares in the company rose 1 per cent during early trading.

Marc Kimsey, senior trader at Accendo Markets, said: "This is a defining moment in Gulf Keystone's history; the appointment of Simon Murray is a major coup. His CV is ideal -a track record in progressing major, blue-chip energy companies and a black book of City contacts."

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