Departure of HML executives shrouded in mystery

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mystery surrounded the sudden departure of HML’s two top executives last night with parent Skipton Building Society refusing to discuss reasons for their exit.

The third-party service provider issued a brief statement yesterday afternoon announcing that Brian Brodie, the chief executive, and Neil Warman, the chief commercial and finance officer, “have decided to leave the company”.

A spokeswoman for Skipton Building Society said: “We wish them every success for the future and are grateful for their significant contribution over the past three-and-a-half years.

“In the meantime, it is business as usual for HML, which forms an important part of the diversified Skipton Group.

“We will maintain our focus on working together to maximise the business’s considerable potential during 2012 and beyond.”

She refused to respond to questions about the reasons for their departure.

Andrew Jones, the chief operating officer at HML, will act as interim chief executive while the company searches for permanent successors.

He said: “We will enter 2012 with a stable and sustainable operational and financial base, giving us the right platform to develop and grow, backed by Skipton Building Society.”

HML made a pre-tax profit of £64,000 in 2010, down from £3.4m in 2009. It blamed the fall on heavy restructuring costs as the company reduced staff numbers from 1,966 to 1,460 and closed offices.