Jaywing chief executive steps down as firm decides against sale

Andrew Fryatt, chief executive of Jaywing, has stepped down with immediate effect as the data science firm’s board decides against selling the business following a strategic review.

Chief finance officer Christopher Hughes will assume chief operating duties in addition to his current role. The firm has asked board member David Beck, who joined in April, to take over as chair from  Ian Robinson, who will remain on the board as a non-executive director.

Robinson said, “Andrew has led the business through a challenging period and the Board would like to thank him for his contribution in his four years with the Group.

“After nearly three years with the Group Christopher Hughes is ready to step up to the COO role, the three CEOs of the Group’s operating businesses will report to him. David Beck is an experienced executive with both relevant industry experience and a strong track record, he will focus on helping the executive team to build and grow the business.”

Beck added, “Whilst the board will continue to benefit from Ian Robinson’s advice and guidance as a non-executive director I would like to thank him for his stewardship of the group in his period as Chairman. I look forward to working with the strong management teams we have in place in all divisions to take the business forward.”

The strategic review, which began in March, found hat very tough trading conditions over the last 2-3 years have begun to ease and its cost cutting, coupled with increased business confidence, give  cause for optimism.

“Whilst it is too early to predict any sustained recovery, the board has concluded that seeking to crystallise value through a sale of the company at this time is not in the interests of stakeholders.  The board will continue to focus on maximising value for shareholders,” it said in an announcement to the London Stock Exchange this morning.

The firm said its financial year, ending on 31 March, closed with major work in the UK, US and Australia, and it now expected a flat year-on-year revenue despite difficult market conditions.

However, it added that its UK consultancy division closed weakly after a strong year, and this had placed sufficient strain on its working capital that it intends to enter discussions with its two lenders, DSC Investment Holdings Limited and Lombard Odier Asset Management (Europe) Limited, regarding increasing the existing facility it has in place with them. Both lenders arew represented on the board.