RMJM believed to have paid £30,000 for ailing practice
The boss of the only architectural practice listed on the Stock Exchange has become the first industry figure to publicly criticise the directors who led YRM into administration before jumping ship to new owner RMJM.
As a listed firm, Aukett Fitzroy Robinson is required to be more transparent with company figures than private firms.
Criticising the way some practices, including YRM and Austin Smith-Lord, have laid off staff owing them thousands of pounds in recent weeks, Aukett chief executive Nicholas Thompson said: “One of the things about the vehicle we’re in is that corporate governance and risk are high on the agenda. We have to be seen to be doing things properly.”
He added: “If the firms [who had made staff redundant owing them missing wages] asked me, I’d tell them what I thought of them.”
Aukett, which in the year to September 2011 saw the cost of closing an office in Poland increase pre-tax losses to £955,000 on turnover up £1.5 million to £9 million, is now in its third year of asking staff to take pay cuts in order to avoid staff cuts at the business.
The initiative was kicked off by Thompson and other directors who asked staff to follow their example and cut their pay packets to help the company save money. Those on the highest wages were asked to take the biggest cuts with Thompson and others seeing their pay go down by as much as 20%.
Thompson said half of the firm’s 80 staff in the UK were still on pay cuts. “Senior staff are on a 5% pay reduction. You have to cut your cloth. If that means taking a reduction for senior people, then that’s what you have to do. It’s easier for people to follow. If I didn’t [take a pay cut] I would have no credibility whatsoever.”
His comments come as BD understands RMJM paid just £30,000 for the part of YRM it bought. This is believed to cover goodwill and assets.
A further £75,000 is due to be paid to the administrator, Chantrey Vellacott DFK, provided YRM hits certain targets. But one creditor said: “There’s no way RMJM will release an extra £75,000 without someone holding a gun to their head.”
RMJM declined to comment.
30 January 2013 | Updated: 30 January 2013 10:00 am
8 October 2012
8 June 2012
3 April 2012
24 January 2012
20 January 2012
20 January 2012
16 January 2012
12 January 2012
10 January 2012