Quayle Munro chief to step down

IAN Jones, chief executive and co-founder of Quayle Munro, the self-proclaimed "old-fashioned little outfit" of the Edinburgh financial community, is to retire at the end of the month.

Jones, 61, will be replaced by John Elliot, who has been with the company since it was founded in 1983. Jones will stay on in his role as chairman and will continue to work on an executive basis part-time.

The company said Elliot has very wide experience of all aspects of corporate finance and has been responsible for building up its PFI and PPP financing division.

Quayle Munro, 29 per cent owned by HBOS, and a stalwart of the Edinburgh establishment, has an eclectic mix of listed and unlisted assets as well as being increasingly involved in PFI work.

Jones, who has worked in Edinburgh for 37 years, said yesterday that the company would remain true to its founding principles, as he took a step back from its day-to-day operations: "I want to spend a little more time with my wife and family, although I will maintain an active involvement in the company."

He said that Elliot would not introduce any radical changes in the way the investment house is run.

"I have worked with John for almost 20 years and we have a similar approach about practically everything," Jones said.

During his tenure at the company, Jones has turned Quayle Munro, which he co-founded with just 100,000, into a respected niche player in financial circles.

Although listed, 75 per cent of the company is owned by just five shareholders, including HBOS, The Waterloo Corporation, and Quayle Munro’s directors and their families.

Its share price has risen gradually in the past few years, and has not been hit badly by the fallout in global markets. Last night it closed up 1.6 per cent, or 5p, at 320p.

Jones said yesterday that he was perturbed by the current state of the markets, with new tales of accounting irregularities being uncovered on an almost weekly basis.

He added: "What’s going on around me is sad. However, it is a useful bloodletting to combat corporate excess. Frankly, that is needed from time to time."