The First Commissioner is the Chairman of the Church Commissioners' Assets Committee, a statutory committee responsible for the strategic management of the Church Commissioners' £7 billion investment portfolio. A Crown nomination, the First Commissioner is also a member of the Church Commissioners' Board of Governors, the General Synod and the Archbishops' Council.
Sir Andreas said:
"After fifteen years' service I think it appropriate and sensible to look towards an orderly handover to a successor. I am proud to be leaving the Church Commissioners at a time when we continue to enjoy robust and sustainable growth, while contributing in a substantial and meaningful way to the ongoing operation of the Church and its ministry."
Responding to Sir Andreas's decision to retire, the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Church Commissioners commented:
"Andreas Whittam Smith has been an outstanding First Church Estates Commissioner. He has overseen the growth of the endowment and steered the organisation through numerous turbulent economic cycles, most notably the financial crisis of 2008. Under his leadership the Church Commissioners have led in responsible investment and in engaging with businesses on a wide range of economic and social issues."
A successor to Sir Andreas will be announced in due course.