New interim FD appointed at Grafenia

By Richard Stuart-Turner, Tuesday 26 June 2018

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Grafenia has appointed a new interim finance director, following the retirement from full-time work of its current group finance director.


Simon Barrell will assist Grafenia chief executive Peter Gunning (pictured) to "move the business forward"

Alan Roberts, who has been part of the company’s management for nearly 20 years, has resigned from the board and completed his last day of service at Grafenia yesterday (25 June).

Roberts said: “The business and team have changed a great deal since I joined. With its new strategy firmly in place and the benefit of the recently raised funds, I look forward to seeing Grafenia's growth accelerate through the next phase of its journey.”

Grafenia chairman Jan Mohr added: “Alan has been an important member of the Grafenia family for a long time. His contributions during the management transition of the last few years have been valuable, and we'll miss him.”

Newly appointed interim finance director Simon Barrell has started in the role – a part-time board position – today (26 June).

Barrell is a serial interim finance director with experience across multiple industries working in both the public and private sectors.

His portfolio includes finance director of Napier Brown Foods at the time of its float in 2003.

Since leaving that company in 2005 he has acted as non-executive finance director to Toluna, an online panel and technology services company which was sold to private equity in 2011 having expanded into the US and also having shown significant organic growth.

He has also acted as finance director, non-executive director and non-executive chairman for a number of public companies and continues to act as an adviser to listed and non-listed companies, including holding a current non-executive director position at Windar Photonics.

Barrell, who qualified as a chartered accountant with Arthur Young in 1983 and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, said: “I am delighted to be joining Grafenia at this stage of its journey and assisting [chief executive] Peter [Gunning] and the team to move the business forward.”

Barrell’s responsibility in the role will be to develop and mentor Grafenia’s finance team with the aim to grow people into “larger roles within the organisation” down the line.

Grafenia reported rising operating losses of £1.1m, despite its sales jumping by 40% to £14.63m in its 2017/18 results, published earlier this month.

Grafenia’s share price was down by 2% in early trading to 12.5p.

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