Troubled HCL loses another board member

CRISIS-HIT medical recruiter Healthcare Locums lost another director yesterday, after its chief operating officer Mo Dedat stepped down from the board with immediate effect.

HCL, whose shares remain suspended from AIM pending an internal probe into accounting problems, now has four directors including suspended chief financial officer Diane Jervis.

Chairman Peter Sullivan, who joined the firm last month, said Dedat will continue to work for the company but has left the board to help “introduce new and independent talent”.

The company refused to say whether or when new directors will be appointed.

“There are no strict rules for AIM companies’ corporate governance, but you would expect as a minimum a chief executive and a chief financial officer, and a balance of non-executives,” Philip Quigley, head of transaction services at Smith & Williamson, told City A.M..

An investigation into HCL’s accounts is due to report its findings “in a matter of weeks”.

The firm’s founder Kate Bleasdale was suspended and stepped down two weeks ago, followed by several other board members amid a shareholder rebellion.