Steele Leaves as CEO of RFU as Investec Ends 12-Year Partnership

June 10, 2011

It has been revealed today, June 10, that chief executive of England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) John Steele has left his post due to criticism aimed at him regarding the recruitment of a new performance director.

The decision followed an emergency board meeting last night, June 9, to debate the botched process that led to former national team World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward walking away from the job after the job description was changed twice in two days.

Steele has only been in the post since last September when he replaced Francis Baron as chief executive but his departure from the body has been confirmed today.

Meanwhile, the 12-year partnership between Investec and England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) will come to an end in August after the specialist bank announced that it would not be renewing its relationship.

The asset manager’s final match as a sponsor of the England team will take place on August 6, when Wales visits Twickenham Stadium in London, the 35th England fixture that Investec will have sponsored.

Raymond van Niekerk, Investec’s head of global marketing, stated: “The Investec brand was almost unknown in the UK before that first match against the ‘Boks (South Africa) in 1998. Our sponsorship of the autumn internationals really helped establish us in the UK and it also helped the Investec brand in Australia and South Africa.

“The association with England Rugby has been an important part of our brand building over the last 12 years and it has been a great success for us.”

Investec will retain significant exposure southern hemisphere rugby as the lead sponsor of the SuperRugby competition in New Zealand and the TriNations tournament between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

RFU business operations director Paul Vaughan added: “Investec’s support over the past 12 years has enabled the RFU to invest in all levels of the game from grassroots to the elite over a number of years. They have been an outstanding partner that always looked for a creative way to sponsor England’s autumn internationals.”