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Changes afoot: new director appointed

Filed: Friday, 29th September 2017
By: Staff Writer

West Ham United have appointed a new American director.

J Albert Smith (aka 'Tripp' Smith), who has lived in both the US and UK in recent years has effectively replaced Swedish director Robert Daniel Svanstrom in the latest boardroom shake-up.

The 42-year-old Swede, who was a non-executive director of the company between 2015 and 2017 acted as the latest representative of Straumur, who owned in the region of 10 per cent of West Ham (a legacy of the club's former Icelandic ownership).

According to documents at Companies House, Svanstrom offically resigned from his position with WH Holding on 21 September - the same day that Smith, 52, was named as a director of the company, leading to speculation that the bank's share has been sold.

Little is currently known about Smith, a Founder of GSO Capital Partners (one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world) who is currently based in Delaware on the US east coast. He is understood to represent the Blackstone Group, a US-based asset management and financial services company.

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Blackstone, whose HQ is based in New York claim to be "one of the world’s leading investment firms", who "seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work".

And one of the company's core beliefs states that "in contrast to the prevailing philosophy of 'other people’s money', the firm would always put significant amounts of its own money in the investments it made."

West Ham United's Board now consists of the following members:

David Sullivan (co-Chair): appointed Jaunary 2010
David Gold (co-Chair): appointed January 2010
Baroness Karren Rita Brady (Vice Chair): appointed January 2010
John Andrew Mollett (Secretary): appointed December 2012
Tara Warren (Marketing): appointed July 2015
J Albert Smith: appointed September 2017

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