GKN is to lose its chief executive and finance director by the end of the year with the head of the engineering group’s expanding aerospace business taking over the top job.

Nigel Stein, the chief executive, will step down after more than two decades at the company. He will be replaced by Kevin Cummings, head of the company’s aerospace business, which recently bought Fokker, its Netherlands-based rival, for €706 million and which GKN says has been outperforming the wider market.