Shares in Connaught were showing no sign of recovery early this week after last Friday’s shock announcement that chief executive Mark Davies would part ways with the social housing specialist in August
They fell 9% to 327p at the news, which was delivered in a 256-word statement to the City that brought an abrupt end to Davies’ five-year tenure as chief executive. Chair Mark Tincknell praised Davies’ “invaluable contribution to the growth and development” of the company.
If it was so invaluable, why did he leave? No credible reason was given but one thing is certain: Tincknell will get his hands back on the levers at a company that is still very much his baby.
Those that know the pair say they are chalk and cheese. One insider said: “Tincknell is the restless visionary while Davies was the solid rock that he needed by his side. Tincknell falls in and out of love while Davies is the dependable automaton that the City admires.”
So, are they still friends? That depends on who you ask. While some say the relationship has been strained for a while, others insist they are still close, pointing to the million-plus shares Davies still has in Connaught.
“All that happened,” said one source, “is that Mark Davies’ time at the company came to its natural end. He was brought in to tidy things up and put some infrastructure in place and that is now done.”
And is Mark Tincknell now permanent as chief executive? “Oh, absolutely,” the source added.
Either way, Davies will stick around for another six months. Presuming he doesn’t do a huge amount on a day-to-day basis, you could count that as a pay-off of sorts.
Tincknell and Stephen Hill, finance director, both bought shares on Friday, bagging 100,000 and 5,000 respectively. It was a show of confidence, but the next six months will demonstrate how well Tincknell can run the ship that was steadied by Davies.
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