Friday 17 August 2018

IFG shares yo-yo after board makes sweeping changes

John Cotter is stepping down as CEO of IFG
John Cotter is stepping down as CEO of IFG
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Shares in Dublin-based financial services firm IFG swung wildly yesterday - gaining 2.7pc at one stage before yo-yoing to a 2.4pc fall.

Volatility followed the announcement of sweeping management changes at the under-pressure firm.

IFG is headquartered and listed in Ireland, but its main business operations are in the UK. It is valued at around €190m.

Group CEO John Cotter stepped down yesterday, and will replaced by Kathryn Purves, who was previously a non-executive director.

Ms Purves joined the IFG board in May 2016. She previously worked at Partnership Assurance, Phoenix Equity Partners, Deutsche Bank and UBS.

IFG chairman John Gallagher, who is also the biggest single shareholder, will stand down following an AGM next month, and will be replaced by Mark Dearsley, the current interim chief financial officer (CFO).

A new CFO, Gavin Howard, was also named.

Market sources say the overhaul is aimed at breaking a malaise after IFG failed to sell its Saunderson House UK wealth management business.

Also hanging over the business is a potential UK tax fine of £20m its UK pensions unit, James Hay, faces over investments made in an unregulated biofuel scheme.

IFG said HMRC, the UK tax service, is investigating investments in a scheme known as 'Elysian Fuels', between 2011 and 2013.

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