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Firm rallies after crash tragedy

Carter & Carter has appointed head hunters in its search for a new chief executive following the death this month of founder Phil Carter in a helicopter accident. But the group will not be pushed into a “hasty” decision.

Chairman Rodney Westhead, interim CEO since Carter’s death on May 2, said: “We are very aware of the need to unite as a team and continue to move the business forward. I have been immensely impressed by the resolve of the staff of Carter & Carter to do just that.

“As regards succession, we will not be making a hasty decision. I have very capable support from the senior management team and it is clearly important that we go through the proper process.

“The company will continue to pursue the large and exciting market opportunities as outlined in our interim results in April and we are pleased with progress. We expect results for the year ending July 31, 2007, to be in line with expectations.”

Despite Westhead’s upbeat results message, Carter & Carter shares have predictably dropped since Carter’s death. As of May 14, they were 1050p, down 156p.

Following a career in sales, marketing and business development at ICI, Carter established Carter & Carter in 1992 with the help of his wife Judith. Initially specialising in the bodyshop industry, with Vauxhall as its first contract, the company broadened its services to the US and Australia before moving into vocational training in 1997. The venture was so successful that Carter floated the group on the Stock Exchange in 2005 making an estimated £30m.

Carter, an honorary vice-president of Chelsea FC, was on his way home from watching the team play against Liverpool when the helicopter in which he was travelling came down in woodland near his family home in Peterborough. Its pilot and three passengers, including Carter and his son, were killed in the crash.

Funeral information had not been announced as we went to press. A memorial fund is planned.

  • The May 4 issue of AM, which included a feature on Carter & Carter, was printed before the accident.
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