WYG CFO Iain Clarkson resigns with immediate effect

06 March 2019 Consultancy.uk 2 min. read
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Troubled professional services firm WYG has seen its Chief Financial Officer resign, following the issuing of a profit warning in early 2019. Iain Clarkson, ACA, announced his resignation as CFO of the international professional services company in late February, with the group still looking to secure a deferral from debtors.

International professional services firm WYG operates from more than 50 locations across the UK, Europe, Africa, and Asia. The firm helps its clients create value, protect value, and manage risk, serving them through six business streams: International Development, Infrastructure & Built Environment, Programme & Project Management, Surveying & Asset Management, Environmental, Planning and Transport.

While the changing demands of its client portfolio led WYG to expand its headcount in 2018, the firm did not meet its expected financial targets in the last year. As a result, in mid-February, WYG issued a surprise profit warning, suggesting that its profit for 2018/19 would be hit by delays to a number of projects in the UK. This followed the firm’s half-year results for the six months to September 2018, which it announced in December.

WYG CFO Iain Clarkson resigns with immediate effect

These results saw turnover slip by £1 million to £75.3 million, with pre-tax losses coming in at £755,000 versus a deficit of £2.8 million last time. Its consultancy services arm, which generates 75% of turnover and is heavily UK-centric, had seen delays in investment decisions on a number of projects and activity being deferred on existing schemes. The firm is not alone in this aspect, with Brexit anxiety slowing growth across the UK consulting sector, as clients put off lucrative long-term projects until they can get a clear view of what post-EU life holds for them.

Following the group’s profit warning, WYG’s shares fell 42%, and just two weeks later plummeted by a further 11%, with the announcement of another blow to the firm. Chief Financial Officer Iain Clarkson announced his resignation from his role with immediate effect, leaving the firm in an awkward position as it looks to secure a waiver or deferral from debtors because of an inability to meet its debt-to-earnings or interest cover covenants.

Clarkson joined the professional services company in 2016, and prior to that was part of oilfield services firm Amec Foster Wheeler. During his time there, he was Finance Director of its Clean Energy Europe business from 2012 to 2016. His sudden departure means that senior managers within the group financial team will now report to WYG’s CEO.

In a brief statement on the matter, the firm told the press, “The board, acting through the nominations committee, will now take steps to identify a new CFO, pending which senior managers within the group finance team will report to the board through the CEO, Douglas McCormick.”