A new man to bear the Southern Cross

TROUBLED healthcare group Southern Cross has appointed a new chairman, the second reshuffle within the company’s top ranks in just three weeks.

Ray Miles, who was chairman of the group for three years, has been replaced by Chris Fisher (right), as the company continues its restructuring. Fisher has over 25 years experience in investment banking. He was a managing director for Lazard until 2003 then served as vice chairman at KPMG until 2006, when he joined the board of Southern Cross as a non-executive director.

Britain’s largest care home operator is struggling to reduce its rent burden and is on the hunt for capital after profits were hit by cuts in local authority spending.

The Darlington-based firm said proposals had been made to landlords on the restructuring of its rent payments, but that its full-year outlook has come under pressure due to its recent troubles.

Southern Cross shares have lost more than 97 per cent of their value since 2008.