Matthew Robinson, former non-executive chairman of AIM-listed Goldplat plc, is Inland Homes new chairman. Trevor Sawyer, previously a managing director of Barratt Homes Southern Counties, has joined as a non-executive director.
Earlier this month all three independent directors of Inland Homes boards quit. Chief executive Don O’Sullivan had already quit in January after just weeks in the job. So chief financial officer Nish Malde was the only board director. Inland Homes is listed on the alternative investment market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. Having independent directors to represent shareholders is a regulatory requirement.
Inland Homes had previously said that it was expecting to bring back Stephen Wicks, one of the original founders of the business, who retired as chief executive last September.
However, with these two appointments to the board, Stephen Wicks will not now be coming back but will continue as a consultant to the company.
The story behind the turmoil – first the CEO and then the board going – has yet to be revealed. The previous announcement, on 1st March, said: “The company has become aware of certain related party issues (which may or may not fall to be treated as related party transactions under the AIM Rules) of which the board was not informed at the relevant times. The company is collating relevant details, following which a further announcement will be made.”
Matthew Robinson, the new chairman, has a background in finance rather than house-building. He is a chartered accountant who has spent much of his career working with and advising growth companies on the London Stock Exchange. He was a corporate finance director at financial services firm FinnCap, of which he was a co-founder, and of investment bank Panmure Gordon.
Not only is the new board faced with addressing the company’s shaky finances – results for the year ending 30th September 2022 are expected to show a pre-tax loss of £91.0m, it has already been disclosed – but Inland Homes is on Michael Gove’s blacklist of housing developers that have not signed his building remediation contract. [See previous report here.]