Pell & Bales cuts 23 staff in restructure

The telephone fundraising agency has been reorganised after the management buyout of its holding group

Telephone fundraising firm cuts jobs
Telephone fundraising firm cuts jobs

The telephone fundraising agency Pell & Bales has announced it is restructuring and making 23 redundancies after a management buyout of its holding group, the Panther Group.

Most of the redundancies are due to the closure of its office in Kingston, Surrey. Pell & Bales employs the equivalent of between 350 and 400 staff.

As part of the restructure, the ownership of Pell & Bales' Canadian operation has been transferred to its chief executive, Karl Holweger. It will be run independently and Pell & Bales will have no interest in the company.

Derwyn Jones, chief executive of the Panther Group, told Third Sector no money had changed hands over this arrangement.

He said Pell & Bales would move away from acquisition calling, which had not been performing as well as it used to over the past six months. He said the business would be focusing on new products for its clients.

"Fundraising is about delivering new products and services," he said. "Now that we have downsized, we will have the capability to look for more opportunities."

The Panther Group is an umbrella company made up of the data business Supporter Insight, the consultancy RXPerience, the telemarketing agency Spokenfor and Pell & Bales.

In the buyout, which has resulted in the closure of Supporter Insight and RXPerience, four of the organisations' managers, including Jones, have taken ownership of the Panther Group.

Jones said that the debts of the investors who bought the group four years ago had been written off as part of the deal. The group was in discussion with its bank about ongoing loans and support.

In a separate development, he said, the group had concluded talks that began in November with other creditors about setting up a Company Voluntary Arrangement to renegotiate the terms of its debts.

Jones said they included an agreement that the debts would be paid off within five years, but he declined to reveal how much the debts were worth.

RXPerience has not had any staff or business for the past four months, and the one member of staff from Supporter Insight has joined Pell & Bales. There have been no redundancies at Spokenfor.

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Panther Group

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