Triad shares slide after IT services firm settles with sacked boss

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The Independent Online

Triad Group has made a substantial payout to Mira Makar, its whistle-blowing former chief executive, after it admitted she was right to launch an investigation into accounting irregularities at the IT services company.

Ms Makar, a former ballerina, was fired as the chief executive of Triad last year after she launched an investigation into the company's accounts over concerns about financial irregularities. Triad's board had previously denied there had been any wrongdoing and pledged to fight Ms Makar's claims "vigorously". The dispute was set to boil over in a full industrial tribunal hearing this week.

Yet Ms Makar has been vindicated after Triad settled out of court. The company said in a statement: "The directors of Triad accept that Ms Makar had a reasonable basis for concerns on a number of financial issues. The directors also accept that Ms Makar acted properly in drawing attention to these matters."

Triad declined to detail the size of Ms Makar's payout but said it would make a "substantial" dent in its first-half profits. The company will also cover her legal expenses.

Triad also apologised to the Egyptian-born Ms Makar. "The events leading to her dismissal were unfortunate and the directors regret the distress Ms Makar has suffered," it said.

Shares in Triad fell more than 11 per cent to 23.5p yesterday after the settlement.

Ms Makar hired the auditors Egan Roberts and the risk assessors Stork in December 2004 to conduct an investigation into the company's IT contracting business. In February 2005 she approached Evolution Securities, the company's broker, but her meeting with the bank was interrupted by other board members led by chairman John Rigg. She was immediately ousted and the investigation was halted.

Earlier this year, Triad's auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers resigned and said the company had failed to keep proper accounting records as required by the Companies Act.

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