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Berry retires in shake-up at BBN

National IFA Berry Birch & Noble is replacing its chief executive and finance director following a recent downturn in profitability which saw its share price plummet by 27 per cent.

The shake-up comes as NewMedia Spark, an internet incubator company, has taken a 9 per cent share in the firm for £775,000.

Derek Berry has retired with immediate effect to be replaced by Derek McLaughlan as CEO. Finance director John Owen is stepping down although a replacement has yet to be named and Hazel Montague is quitting as a non-executive director.

BBN says Berry&#39s retirement has been in the pipeline for some time. It says last month&#39s share slump resulted from the company losing its way and not realigning itself to changing market conditions quickly enough.

McLaughlan, 50, has been working in financial services since 1973 with several companies, including Royal Insurance and Zurich. For the last nine months he has been a consultant with Ernst & Young.

McLaughlan says: “I am not that concerned about the share price fall as it is partly a reflection of changes in the market, especially the mortgage market.

“We have the strength to go forward. I am finding my feet and will be having a good look at things.”

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