Lend Lease has appointed its current finance director, Steve McCann, as chief executive after a global search.

McCann will take over as group managing director from Greg Clarke early in 2009.

He has more than 15 years of experience in property, starting as an investment banker and including the last three years as a senior group executive with Lend Lease.

Lend Lease chairman David Crawford said: ‘Steve’s strategic focus and management strength became clear as he guided the repositioning of the group’s investment management business to become widely regarded as a leading wholesale fund manager in the property investment market.

‘In his role as finance director, he has worked closely with the board to enhance the group’s risk management processes and has been instrumental in ensuring the company’s capital structure has remained one of the strongest in the industry.

‘The search process confirmed that he is the best person to lead the company through the turbulent market conditions at present and on to its next phase of growth.’

Crawford also said that Greg Clarke had made a strong contribution whilst at the helm of Lend Lease, including creating its integrated business model.

Brad Soller, deputy chief financial officer, has been appointed interim chief financial officer.