Stephen Hester will leave post at Abbey National to work with chairman John Ritblat

Stephen Hester has been appointed chief executive of property giant British Land. Hester will take over from John Ritblat who will stay on as Chairman.

Hester is currently chief financial officer at Abbey National and won’t be able to join British Land until later this year. Before then Ritblat will fulfil the role of chief executive as well as chairman.

Dr Chris Gibson-Smith, chairman of British Land’s Nomination Committee said: “We are pleased to have attracted Stephen Hester to be our new chief executive. The breadth of his experience will be invaluable and we are confident that in the chief executive role he will be a worthy successor to John Ritbalt.”

Hester joined Abbey National in May 2002. For the previous 20 years he was at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he became chief financial officer and then global head of the fixed income division in both New York and London.