Reputation is equally the key to success as it is to downfall, especially when in a position of power, or in the public eye, or in the case of CMC Markets majority-owner and Managing Director Peter Cruddas, both.
Yesterday, Mr. Cruddas spoke out to Britain’s Telegraph newspaper, telling that the firm had sustained a pre-tax loss of £2.8 million within the accounting period for the year to March, compared to a £2.5 million pre-tax profit during the same period for the previous year.
High Profile Allegations Led To Exodus
Last year, Mr. Cruddas, who aside from his majority shareholding and executive directorship position at CMC Markets, has served as a public figure in the United Kingdom, having been appointed Conservative Party co-treasurer in June 2011.
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A few months later, in March 2012, the Sunday Times, a British newspaper, alleged that Mr. Cruddas had offered access to the Prime Minister David Cameron and the Chancellor George Osborne, in exchange for cash donations of between £100,000 and £250,000.
The allegations caused Mr. Cruddas to tender his resignation the same day, without admission or denial having been made. A year later, in June 2013, Mr. Cruddas was able to restore his name by successfully suing the Sunday Times for libel over its coverage of his activities, which the High Court found to be defamatory.
Although Mr. Cruddas was awarded £180,000 in damages, the legal onslaught created further negative repercussions which manifested themselves in affecting commercial enterprises in which he holds senior positions, one of which was an exodus of staff from CMC Markets, amounting to approximately one third of the company’s payroll, as a result of the media attention which followed the allegations.
Revenue fell 21% to £129.1 million as the company struggled in part from the turmoil, and upograded to its recently implemented new platform. “It was a dark period for us last year, primarily down to what happened, but we’re out of it now,” Mr. Cruddas explained to the Telegraph. “We lost a lot of staff as people were concerned.”, he added.
Mr. Cruddas took executive control of the business from January as a result of the disappointing performance, and said results since then were more positive. The accounts show net assets in excess of £100 million, which it is thought he will use for small acquisitions.