Plus Markets chair leaves under investor pressure

GILES Vardey, chairman of small-cap stock exchange Plus Markets, bowed to pressure from one of its biggest shareholders and stepped down yesterday.

Vardey, a former director of the London Stock Exchange, was targeted in October when Gulf investor Amara Dhari, which has a 17 per cent stake, called for him to be replaced with former chief executive Simon Brickles.

“Plus Markets Group wishes to announce that Giles Vardey has taken the decision to step down as chairman and non-executive director with immediate effect, for personal reasons,” it said in a statement.

Plus Markets, which counts Arsenal Football Club among its listed companies, fell to a £1.4m loss in the first half of the year after Vardey’s strategy of diversifying into derivatives and technology failed to raise revenues.