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Tebbutt hits back at critics

Outgoing Millfield chief executive Paul Tebbutt has fired a parting shot at industry critics, saying he made a mistake but has paid for it.

Tebbutt, who left Millfield last week and has been replaced by group sales and marketing director Alan Easter, says he is appalled at the way he has been the subject of repeated attacks within the industry over a fine that he says was far less than many others meted out by the regulator.

Last month, he was hit with a personal fine of 35,000 from the FSA for misleading the regulator over Millfield’s merger with Inter-Alliance. He insists the fine has been paid in full and out of his own pocket.

He says: “I was not guilty of fraud and what I did was of no harm to anyone else. I made a mistake and have paid for it.”

Tebbutt, who co-founded the firm seven years ago, is keeping his stake of just over 1 per cent and backs Easter’s appointment. He says: “I am 100 per cent supportive of Millfield and am delighted Alan is taking over. I am going to take a much-needed rest and then consider my options. I am not yet sure if my next move will be in financial services or not.”

Easter, who joined Millfield in March from AMP, takes over with the company needing to raise 1.5m to meet the FSA’s minimum capital adequacy requirements. It is locked in talks with several potential buyers and is thought to be trying to restructure its debt arrangements. Millfield received a 15m loan from a consortium of providers in August 2004.

Easter has previously held sales roles at Axa Sun Life and Scottish Life.

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