Financial News

  • 14 December 2012, 13:20

Exclusive: Broker Aims To Reassure City

One of the City's oldest stockbroking firms will attempt to convince the City that its finances are sound by issuing an unscheduled trading update on Friday.

WH Ireland, which traces its roots to the founding members of the Manchester Stock Exchange in the 1830s, will say that it has a strong balance sheet and is trading profitably following a slump in its shares on Thursday.

The trading update will follow the sudden departure in mysterious circumstances of the AIM-listed firm's chief executive, Paul Compton.

Mr Compton, a prolific deal maker who had been with WH Ireland for about two years, could not be reached for comment in the wake of his exit, which was announced on Wednesday.

The company's statement said that Mr Compton had left "with immediate effect" but declined to elaborate on the reasons.

Its shares closed down almost 25%.

People close to the firm confirmed that there had been an irreconcilable dispute between Mr Compton and other members of WH Ireland's board.

WH Ireland is chaired by Rupert Lowe, the former chairman of Southampton Football Club. Its biggest shareholder is the government minister Lord Marland.

WH Ireland declined to comment.