City sees decision to replace finance director as bid to revive share price.
Jarvis chief executive Paris Moayedi is planning a boardroom shake-up that will be seen by many as an attempt to rebuild the firm’s image and revive its share price.

He is expected to replace Henry Lafferty, the finance director. However, Lafferty is likely to keep his responsibility for private finance initiative work, an area that Moayedi wants to expand.

The shake-up follows the resignation this month of two other heavy hitters: David Andersen, manager of projects in Jarvis Rail; and Keith Lockwood, director of public relations.

Moayedi, 61, insisted that the move to appoint a new finance director had nothing to do with Lafferty’s performance in meetings with shareholders and analysts. He said: “There is a possibility that we will make changes. But I have no complaint about Henry Lafferty’s ability to inform the City.

“Any company has to prepare itself for growth and be able to respond to changes in the market place. If there is any change, it will be more to do with succession planning than anything else.”

When the group’s half-year results were announced last month, Moayedi said he wished to develop the group’s PFI work. Lafferty will take on this responsibility. At present, rail renewal and maintenance business accounts for two-thirds of sales.

But analysts believe that the appointment of a new finance director would also be an attempt to revive investor confidence. “It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if it happens,” said one.

Jarvis’ share price fell below 200p this week. Last year, it reached 697.5p but tumbled after Jarvis reported problems with Railtrack.

Possible contenders for the finance role are David Harding, former finance director of Rugby Group, which was bought last year by RMC; and Chris Bunker, finance director of Tarmac, which Anglo American bought last year.

Jarvis expects to appoint a chairman shortly to replace Roger Payton, who is retiring.