James E. Stowers III, chairman of the board at American Century Investments, has stepped down from his position to “focus his full attention on new business ventures,” the company announced. Stowers has spent his entire 26-year career so far at the company that his father, James E. Stowers, Jr., founded in 1958.

“American Century and I literally grew up together,” the younger Stowers said. “When I first joined the company, we were managing only three mutual funds nad had less that $1 billion in assets. That fact that we now manage more than $100 billion is a testament to our long-held belief that success would occur as long as we focused on making investors and clients successful.

“With the leadership transition complete and outstanding professionals serving in all key executive and investment management positions, now felt like the right time to step away from the company,” he said.

Anticipating Stowers’ departure a year ago, the company established a succession plan, appointing Jonathan S. Thomas president and chief executive officer, Enrique Chang chief investment officer and Barry Find chief operating officer. The company also hired Mark On as chief investment officer of international equity and Stephen Lurito as CIO of U.S. growth equity.

The senior Stowers and Richard W. Brown, co-chair of the board of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, are now co-chairs of American Century.

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