Late Czech Billionaire’s Family Taps Longtime Partner Smejc To Run PPF

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PPF Group will install investor Jiri Smejc as its new chief executive from June 15.PPF has assets worth around 40 billion euros ($42.2 billion)spanning continents and sectors.

Its founder, Petr Kellner, died in a helicopter crash in March 2021 while on a skiing trip to Alaska. The 56-year-old was the richest Czech businessman at the time of his death.

Smejc had a nearly two-decade business partnership with Kellner and also founded the EMMA investment group in 2012. “From 2005 to 2012, Smejc played a key role at PPF, often discussing the group’s business activities with Petr in great detail. He understood Petr’s way of thinking,” Kellner’s widow, Renata Kellnerova, said in a statement. “I wish him much success in building on Petr’s legacy and further developing PPF.”

Smejc, who held a 5% stake in PPF between 2005-2012, has remained a key figure in PPF’s consumer lender Home Credit, which has been facing challenges in its businesses in Russia and China.
Smejc will receive stock options for up to 10% of PPF shares under the terms of his appointment and will not take a salary, PPF said.

Besides the change at the helm, an advisory board is formed to give counsel on the strategic development of PPF to Kellnerova, who holds the majority stake in the group.

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