Age UK defends chief executive Tom Wright

Charity supports Wright's role as chairman of marketing firm RHC Advantage

Age UK chief executive Tom Wright
Age UK chief executive Tom Wright

Age UK has defended its chief executive, Tom Wright, after it emerged that a company he chairs had dealings with a property firm criticised by the charity.

Wright became chairman of RHC Advantage, a marketing company for older people, in September.

Six months earlier, RHC had presented a research report to the Peverel Group, a company that has been criticised by Age UK in its calls for tighter regulation of the private retirement housing sector.

RHC put a statement on its website saying it had carried out consultancy work for Peverel - the latter's logo was displayed with the statement. Both statement and logo were removed earlier this month. RHC said they had been put up by mistake.

An Age UK spokeswoman said Wright had joined RHC to "improve the quality of communications and marketing to people in later life", and it was common for chief executives to hold non-executive roles.

She said the unpaid role had been approved by Dianne Jeffrey, chair of Age UK, and that she wasn't aware of any trustees complaining about a conflict of interests.

Mark Beasley, managing director of RHC, said Wright provided advice and direction to the board and was not involved in the company's day-to-day business. "Peverel was not, has not been and is not now a client of RHC Advantage," said Beasley. "The Peverel logo did feature on our website for a few weeks in error."

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