Graham Coxell, the man behind Marlborough Stirling's deal with IFA portal The Exchange, has quietly walked away from the group.
Former chief executive Coxell left after nine years with the firm and has not been replaced. Chairman and chief executive Huw Evans is temporarily filling his role.
Coxell was instrumental in the deal that saw Marlborough agree the takeover of Exchange FS, The Exchange holding company, in 2001 and also oversaw flotation of the company on the FTSE 250.
Despite the group's latest interim results showing a drop in group profits to £2.6m from £8.3m in 2002, analysts are bullish that the group will gain strength in the next six months.
Lehman Brothers analyst Stacey Pollard says: “Marlborough's results show portal subscriber numbers are up. Marlborough has carried on attracting new members. Misys only has a limited number of IFAs that they can access and this number has shrunk.
“The fall-off of the share price is a reflection of poor equity markets and the number of IFAs decreasing but there has been some recovery since partly due to an increase in the sale of protection products.”
Marlborough Stirling spokesman Charlie Musson says: “We are seeking a replacement. As far as I am aware, Coxell did not leave to go to another company and it was a mutual decision he made with the board.”