Coutts board losses prompt strategy review

Coutts Retail Communications is undertaking a strategic review of its business, following the exit of three of its board directors within the past fortnight.



Coutts Retail Communications is undertaking a strategic review of its business, following the exit of three of its board directors within the past fortnight.


The departures include that of managing director Richard Saysell, operations director Christian O’Connell and IT director Mark Saysell. The day-to-day running of the business is now being overseen by CRC chairman Alan Wild, who, for the time being, has absorbed the managing director’s responsibilities.


It has also emerged that Richard Saysell was at the centre of an unsuccessful management buyout move at CRC, thought to have taken place last summer. According to Jeremy Middleton, chief executive of CRC parent company Media Square, Saysell discussed the ‘concept’ of a management buyout after making it known he wanted to ‘pursue his own venture’ as early as six months ago.


Commenting on the changes, Wild says, ‘Being part of a publicly listed company, we do not allow [the possibility of] MBOs to be entertained. We’re seeing this as an opportunity to review the business strategically, operationally and structurally. We’re looking at it as a different way to go forward.’


Middleton denies that CRC will suffer as a result of the loss of management. ‘Following [Media Square’s] recent acquisitions our sales have gone from £60m to £100m on a pro forma basis,’ he says.


The outgoing directors were not available to comment.


Last October, Media Square received an offer for two-thirds of its business, valuing its design and services groups at £41m .

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