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Ray Kelvin returns to active Ted Baker role via board nominee | Ted Baker

Ted Baker founder Ray Kelvin is to have a say in the running of the brand for the first time since departing over a year ago under a new “relationship agreement”.

Kelvin, who owns nearly 12% of the fashion company, will have his interests represented on its board by a non-executive director – investment banker Colin La Fontaine Jackson – with immediate effect.

Once known as “the man closest to Ted”, Kelvin resigned in March last year following allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards staff. Kelvin’s departure came after a voluntary leave of absence from December 2018 when allegations of misconduct, including “forced hugs” and ear-kissing, were made against him. Kelvin has denied all allegations of misconduct.

The group’s share price slumped to less than a tenth of its value before the allegations emerged.

In July, Ted Baker said it would cut 500 jobs after a torrid few years including the “forced hugs” allegations, a string of profit warnings and an auditing error and the coronavirus pandemic which caused sales to slump by more than a third. An investigation into the audit error in which the company overestimated the value of clothes in its warehouses by more than £30m is on-going.

In June, Kelvin slashed his stake in Ted Baker by more than half, handing control of the company to an investor known as “the Rottweiler” as part of an emergency £105m fundraising to get the business through the pandemic.

In a statement to the stock market, Ted Baker said the agreement “brings the benefits of access to Ray’s unique brand experience and insight, while at the same time introducing clear guidelines that will ensure board independence is maintained and that the interests of shareholders are prioritised and protected.”

It said the agreement formalised Kelvin’s relationship with the company.

A source close to said Kelvin: “Ray will do anything to help the company.”

John Barton, chairman, said: “We are pleased to welcome Colin to the board and to be able to access Ray’s great experience in building the brand over the last 30 years as we continue to make progress with Ted’s new formula for growth.”

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