Stewart McColl, the former SMC chief executive who resigned from the firm two weeks ago, will not sell his stake in the firm.

Sources close to the company said this week that McColl does not intend to sell his 18% stake in the practice he founded in 1996.

The stake means that McColl would have the power to vote against board proposals if he chose to do so.

McColl, who was deputy chairman at the time of his departure, left earlier this month following the initial findings of a review into the firm’s financial underperformance.

SMC will now recruit a chief executive to spearhead a restructure. Three candidates have been interviewed for the post and an appointment is expected in the next two months. The chosen candidate is anticipated to have a business as well as an architectural background.

SMC’s share price slumped a further 16.5% to 33p last week after Rodney Walker, its executive chairman, said it had begun to reduce staff numbers after profit warnings.