Jeweller's boss is ousted as board calls in investigators

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The Independent Online

The board of Goldsmiths, the high street jeweller, has instigated a coup against Jurek Piasecki, the company's chief executive.

It is believed Mr Piasecki has been suspended, pending an investigation into the jeweller's finances by Kroll, the corporate forensic accountants.

An emergency meeting between Mr Piasecki, Kroll and the Goldsmiths board is scheduled for tomorrow.

Goldsmiths is 83 per cent owned by Baugur, the giant Icelandic retail group, which also owns House of Fraser and several other leading UK high street names. The remaining 17 per cent is owned by Mr Piasecki. Baugur acquired its interest in 2004 for £110m when it bought Goldsmiths from private equity firm Alchemy.

A spokesman for Baugur, said yesterday: "Goldsmiths is trading well and is on track for a good trading period in the run-up to Christmas." He declined to comment on Mr Piasecki's removal from office or the reasons why Kroll had been appointed to investigate the company's books.

There is no suggestion that Mr Piasecki has acted improperly. He was unreachable for comment yesterday. Under his tenure the retailer has grown its turnover from £3m to more than £300m. It has more than 160 stores in the UK and is a major seller of luxury brands such as Rolex and Omega.