Jarvis’ financial director Alistair Rae, who was involved in the financial restructuring that pulled the support services group back from the brink of collapse, has left the company.

Jarvis said that Rae did not want to move to York when Jarvis relocated its headquarters next month. Alasdair Marnock will take over as chief financial officer but will not replace Rae on the main board.

Marnock was finance director at Dunlop Slazenger, where Alan Lovell was chief executive before taking the helm at Jarvis last October.

Analysts said that Rae had been a key player in the survival of Jarvis and his departure had been a shock and surprise.

The city is also surprised that Marnock has not been added to the board.

Jarvis said that Lovell did not feel the need to put Marnock on the board as the firm was now much smaller.

Steven Norris, chairman, said: “I am very grateful to Alistair for the crucial work he did in taking over the finance function at a critical time in the company’s history. He has made a significant contribution to the group’s ability to survive over the past 12 months.”

Shares in Jarvis, which have fallen from 198p in the last year, closed down 0.5p at 23.25p yesterday.

Last month, the group secured refinancing of all its PFI construction contracts and a one-year extension to its banking facilities. Jarvis had debts of £240m, threatening it with collapse.

Building revealed last month how Jarvis had sold off its debt to a consortium led by the Bank of America.