SCOTTISH business doyen Lord Smith of Kelvin has stepped down as chairman of Dundee-based Alliance Trust.

The Glasgow-born peer, who has been replaced by deputy chairman Gregor Stewart, has vacated the role after “three and a half eventful years”.

Lord Smith, who recently became chairman of Scottish Enterprise, arrived at the trust following a long-running campaign for change by activist investor Elliott Advisors, which had criticised its performance.

The former Weir Group and SSE chairman launched a strategic review after succeeding Karin Forseke, which ultimately led to Alliance outsourcing its portfolio to fund managers at Willis Towers Watson in late 2016. During his tenure, Alliance sold its in-house investment management business, Alliance Trust Investments, to London-based Liontrust Asset Management. And it offloaded its Alliance Trust Savings, its pensions and savings unit, to Interactive Investment for £40 million in October last year.

Lord Smith, who chaired the Smith Commission which led to more devolved powers for Scotland following the independence referendum of 2014, said: “I feel very privileged to have served as chairman of Alliance Trust which has a long and proud history and would like to thank all its stakeholders for their support during my tenure as chairman. As we have now completed the simplification of the trust, I am pleased to be able to hand over to Gregor.”

Alliance said the role of deputy chairman had ceased further to Mr Stewart’s appointment.

Mr Stewart said: “Together with my colleagues, I would like to thank Robert [Smith] for his hard work and dedication during his time as chair and for guiding the trust during this period of major change. I am delighted to take up the role of chairman.”