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Ray Kelvin returns to Ted Baker board through nominee director

Ray Kelvin, the founder of Ted Baker, has returned to the retailer’s executive board, following his exit last year amid allegations of misconduct.

However, Kelvin will not take a physical place in the boardroom, and instead has appointed Colin La Fontaine Jackson to act as a nominee director.

The retailer said the new relationship agreement between the company and Kelvin brings the “benefits of access to [Kelvin’s] unique brand experience and insight”, while at the same time introducing “clear guidelines” that will ensure board independence is maintained and that the interests of shareholders are prioritised and protected.

The terms of the relationship agreement state that Kelvin is entitled to appoint one non-executive director for as long as he retains an aggregate interest equal to or greater than 10% in the issued ordinary share capital of the company. Kelvin currently holds an interest of approximately 11.8%.

According to Ted Baker, La Fontaine Jackson brings “strong” corporate finance and legal experience to the board, having spent over 25 years advising clients across a range of industries.

Prior to founding corporate finance boutique Hopton Advisers in 2014, he worked at Quayle Munro, ING Barings and Charterhouse Securities. He qualified as a solicitor with Clifford Chance.

Chairman John Barton said: “We are pleased to welcome Colin to the board and to be able to access Ray’s great experience in building the brand over the last 30 years as we continue to make progress with Ted’s new Formula for Growth.”

In December 2018, Kelvin took a voluntary leave of absence from his role after allegations of misconduct were made against him, with an internal independent committee being appointed shortly after to investigate the claims.

The committee commissioned law firm Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) to investigate the allegations and the company’s policies, procedures and handling of HR-related complaints.

Earlier this year, the fashion saw its group revenues slump by 55% to £60.9m.

During the 11 week period ended 18 July, store revenue decreased by 79% to £15.8m, with sales performance impacted by store closures globally caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, like-for-like store sales were down 52% compared with the same period last year.

However, e-commerce sales increased 35% and represented 69% of total retail sales compared with last year.

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