The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews announced today that accountant and former investment banker Martin Slumbers will replace long-time secretary and chief executive Peter Dawson on Oct. 1, 2015, the day Dawson, who has been with the R&A for 16 years, plans to retire.
Slumbers, 54, will join the R&A in March as chief executive designate, giving him a six-month window to learn the ropes with Dawson. By all accounts Slumbers is a quick study, having run the global investment banking division of Deutsche Bank for years and, before that, serving as chief financial officer of Salomon Bank International in London and Hong Kong.
He will have a tough act to follow, though. Dawson, who took over from Sir Michael Bonallack in 1999, was one of the most influential secretaries in the club’s history, moving the R&A (often kicking and screaming) into the modern era, not just in terms of communications and marketing (which was Dawson’s background) but by spearheading the admission of women into the club. Now the 64-year-old sharp-witted Scot will turn the reins over to a seasoned businessman with a wealth of international experience.
“The R&A is one of the most influential bodies in world sport and I am delighted to be taking up this position,” Slumbers said. “Golf has always been close to my heart and I am very much looking forward to living and working in St Andrews. I am honored to be appointed to lead The R&A and to serve such an historic and prestigious club.”
Professor Wilson Sibbett, chairman of the R&A, said, “I would like to congratulate Martin on his appointment. He has enjoyed a long and successful career and will bring a great deal of experience to the position. He has a passion for golf and is absolutely committed to the work of the R&A in governing the game, running the Open and supporting development initiatives around the world.”