Capel boss resigns.

Chris Blatchly, finance director at private client broker Capel Cure Sharp, has resigned after ‘administrative irregularities’ were uncovered in an internal investigation. KPMG partner Mike Peck has stepped in as acting chief finance officer of the broker, a subsidiary of South African insurance group Old Mutual, after the 42-year-old chartered accountant and two fellow directors quit. Capel shares fell by 3p to 154p following the announcement last week. Peck, who is a financial sector practice partner at the Big Five firm, which assisted the investigation, will stand-in for Blatchly for up to three months. Blatchly had been with Capels for 12 years. A KPMG spokesman said: ‘It’s not an unusual for us to second an experienced member of staff to clients in this situation.’ Chris Kingston, 48, the company’s compliance director has also resigned, while the group’s high-profile development director Mike Jones, 57, has retired. Capel said the investigation and departure of three directors related to ‘certain administrative irregularities in 1999’. ‘The matters under investigation arise from a failure to reconcile a bank account on a timely basis,’ a spokesman said. Capel with offices in London and Birmingham manages funds worth #9bn, which include more than #800m of charity funds. The broker, which is regulated by the Securities and Futures Authority, added: ‘We confirm that no client of the group will suffer any loss and the company is continuing to work with its regulator.’ The top executives exit comes as Capel faces merger with another broker Greig Middleton, which was recently acquired by parent Old Mutual. Leisure FD quits

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