Whitehead Mann dives 25% on banking sector downturn

Shares in the headhunter Whitehead Mann slumped 25 per cent yesterday after the company warned the downturn in the banking sector had taken its toll on its key executive search business.

The alert came as the company confirmed that Anna Mann, its founder and one of the most powerful players in the City, would be leaving in March of next year after all.

Ms Mann, responsible for hundreds of FTSE 100 executive appointments, had been in talks to stay on after announcing last year she wanted to retire next Spring. Publicity-shy, there are few photographs of Ms Mann and she does not give interviews. Her reputation in the industry, though, is unrivalled and recent successes include putting Clara Furse into the London Stock Exchange, Sir Christopher Bland into BT and finding Luc Vandevelde for Marks & Spencer.

Whitehead Mann tried to play down her departure yesterday. "In 1997, when the business floated less than five people accounted for 70 per cent of the revenue. Today 50 people account for 70 per cent of the revenue," Stephen Lawrence, the chief executive, said. "We're no longer dependant on one or two key individuals and Anna and her whole team account for less than 8 per cent of revenue."

The company warned yesterday that operating profits, before exceptional items, for the year to 31 March would be "materially" below current market expectations. The stock closed down 27.5p at 82.5p.

It expects sales to be in line with current forecasts of about £65.5m but profits are now expected to be more like £10m – some £2.5m lower than previous forecasts. Next year, it predicts sales will be flat.

The company responded to the downturn by slashing its final dividend to 2.5p from 8p last year, producing a payout of 7p for the whole year down from 13.6p the year before. Revenue had remained "relatively stable" on a month-by-month basis.

Whitehead Mann also announced it had sold its Munich arm to management for a nominal sum plus liabilities – leaving it with operations in London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there