Management changes bring peace at Savoy: Sir Ewen Fergusson named new chairman of hotel group

A TRUCE was struck yesterday between the warring factions at the Savoy group of hotels through two boardroom appointments, one permanent and one temporary, and the formation of a cross-party management committee.

Sir Ewen Fergusson, former ambassador to Paris, becomes chairman of the Savoy, succeeding Sir Anthony Tuke, who will retire at the end of the year.

Martin Radcliffe, already on the board, has been appointed acting managing director until a replacement is found for Giles Shepard, who was this week asked to resign following a unilateral, public attack on Sir Michael Richardson, a non-executive director. Mr Shepard accused Sir Michael of leaking confidential information.

Observers of the long-running saga said that yesterday's announcement pointed to a management victory for Forte, the rival hotel company that has a significant equity stake in the Savoy, owner of some of Britain's best- known hotels.

Speculation about who will become managing director mainly favours Ramon Pajares, a hotelier who has worked for the Four Seasons chain. He is understood to be considering a formal offer, made by the Savoy and acceptable to Forte.

A spokeswoman for Forte, which has long had designs on acquiring the industry's prime assets, said it agreed to sanction the appointments at yesterday's board meeting.

'We are happy with the whole board agreement. We feel progress has been made,' she said.

Forte owns more than 60 per cent of the Savoy's equity but, because of the two-tier share structure, controls only 42 per cent of the votes.

Rocco Forte, chairman, and Donald Main, a fellow director at Forte, were at the Savoy meeting.

Besides yesterday's appointments, the Savoy board decided to form a three-strong chairman's committee to work closely with the new managing director. The members are Sir Ewen, Mr Forte and John Sinclair, who presides over three Savoy trusts controlling more than 30 per cent of the votes.

Forte and the Savoy trusts have also terminated talks that Forte hoped could have led to the formation of a joint-venture company. It would have incorporated some of Forte's 'Exclusive' chain of hotels, which includes the Grosvenor House and Hyde Park hotels, and the Savoy group, which includes Claridge's and the Berkeley.

View from City Road, page 25

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Report Writer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...

MBDA UK Ltd: Indirect Procurement Category Manager

Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness