Former boss Francis Ives fails in bid to regain control of consultant

Frances Ives

Francis Ives has failed in his bid to regain control of Sweett Group, after shareholders rejected his proposed return as chairman.

Shareholders voted 79% against removing current chairman Michael Henderson and 79% against appointing Francis Ives chairman.

Earlier Francis Ives and Michael Henderson gave impassioned speeches to shareholders at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), held in central London.

Ives said he hoped whatever the outcome Sweett would engage more with shareholders and that shareholders would be more outspoken.

Henderson acknowledged that last year’s financial results were disappointing but said the company was turning things around.

He argued dissent came from within the 18-19% of the stock held by former Sweett employees and said the firm would do more to communicate the firm’s strategy to this contingent.

Henderson admitted he had told shareholders at last year’s AGM that he intended to retire this summer but said he’d been asked by the board to stay on and has agreed to stay on for a further six months. He said the board’s request for him to stay came before Ives requisitioned the EGM.

Henderson argued the company was now a “global public company” and different to the “UK partnership Ives remembers”. He added: “I’m very proud of what the management has achieved during the past three years”.