Consultancy firm gives executives almost three million shares as financial incentive to turn the company around

Steve Driver, executive chairman of consultancy firm Driver Group, has sold over a million shares two days after they were awarded to the firm’s management.

The sell-off of 1,162,790 shares at 21.5p each came after almost three million shares were given to executives as a financial incentive to turn around the flagging company.

On 19 January the group announced that turnover had fallen 20% and it had lost £0.8m in the year to 30 September last year.

It also said Driver would step down to be a non-executive director at the beginning of March.

The following week the old share options that had only been exercisable at between 62p and 118.5p were scrapped.

With the share price stuck at about a third of this, the company said that they “no longer serve to incentivise management and are now poor for morale”.

Instead, 2,902,500 new shares were issued to the senior management, to be sold at 21.5p.

The new shares awarded to Dave Webster, chief executive, can only be cashed in if the company achieves the same earnings per share as it did in 2008, but no conditions were attached to those given to other executives.

Driver still owns 2,615,930 shares in the company, almost 10% of the total. Since the £250,000 sell-off, the share price has fallen from 22p to 14p.