Phillip Kingston steps down from TGO

Trimantium GrowthOps (TGO) founder Phillip Kingston is stepping down from the company’s board.

In an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this morning, the group – which now trades as GrowthOps and absorbed agencies including AJF Partnership and Khemistry – said Kingston’s resignation follows the “successful transition of the new board and management” which occurred in October.

Kingston has stepped down from TGO

Kingston founded the advisory business and is also the founder of diversified investment firm Trimantium Capital and was CEO of global pension operator Sargon. It emerged last week that Sargon had been placed into administration, alongside two other entities under the Trimantium umbrella.

TGO has loaned money to Sargon in the past, making loans of $6m and $3.5m to Sargon’s Certitude Financial. TGO also paid rent of $156,000 to the Sargon-controlled Hong Kong Trust Company.

Last year, Kingston transitioned to a non-executive director role at TGO, at the same time as a majority of the board resigned.

Non-executive chairman Scott Tanner thanked Kingston for his time with the business.

“We are grateful to Phillip for his vision and leadership. He saw the industry was in a period of structural change, driven by changing client and consumer preferences, coupled with the impact of technology. In response, he brought together a group of entrepreneurs to form GrowthOps.

“We sincerely appreciate Phillip’s dedication, drive and unwavering commitment to the company, its staff, clients and shareholders. He has also been a source of stability and continuity for the business as we transitioned from the prior management team and board. With the handover now complete, Phillip has decided that the time is right for him to step down from the board.”

Kingston said: “It has been a privilege to serve alongside my fellow directors and the hugely talented group of people working across GrowthOps. I continue to believe in the Company’s founding thesis, and am now firmly of the view that the company, led by Clint Cooper, with the guidance from Scott and the rest of the board, is in extremely capable hands to deliver on the promise of GrowthOps.

“As I enter a busy period related to my other business interests, and with my handover now complete, the timing is right for my resignation from the board. Although now in a less formal capacity, I look forward to continuing to support the company.”

Kingston’s announcement comes just after TGO released its fourth quarter report for 2019. The report stated the company had undergone a “series of measures to reduce costs and improve its financial performance”, resulting in a rise in net cash and a 29.0% increase in operational efficiency.

The business has drawn $12.822m on its $14m Westpac secured debt facility. A staff and contractor cost of $14.585m was noted, partly related to restructuring measures.

In the October restructure the majority of the TGO board stepped down, including chair Dominique Fisher and CEO Paul Mansfield. The new board brought in Tanner as chair, Cooper as MD and CEO, Philip Dalidakis, Craig McMenamin and Jessica Hart as non-executive directors and Craig Davies as executive director for technology and cybersecurity.

A TGO timeline: 

16 November: AJF Partnership set to be acquired by soon to list group, Trimantium

27 February: GrowthOps reports $48m loss as Asia-Pacific Digital writedowns bite
18 March: Tobias Wilson exits APD Singapore following Trimantium GrowthOps acquisition
31 May:
Trimantium GrowthOps appoints executive director Paul Mansfield as CEO
15 June: Trimantium GrowthOps launches stock market bid for Singapore based agency group
30 July: Trimantium GrowthOps closes in on Asia Pacific Digital acquisition
8 August:
Trimantium GrowthOps succeeds in APD bid
23 August:
Trimantium GrowthOps announces $13.6m statutory loss and $7.1m pro-forma net profit
6 September: Khemistry’s managing partner Andy Fyffe becomes CMO of parent company Trimantium GrowthOps
28 November:
Trimantium GrowthOps rebrands with ‘fresh’ visual identity

1 February:
Brisbane agency Khemistry relinquishes branding to become GrowthOps
20 March: GrowthOps announces $5m share buy-back
1 April: GrowthOps enters exclusive discussions to acquire Entrago
17 April: GrowthOps appoints Clems’ Jason Polson as group director of creative
7 June: GrowthOps CMO Andy Fyffe returns to Khemistry Brisbane as group cuts roles
30 August: Trimantium GrowthOps posts $65m loss
30 September:
Auditors raise concerns over financial health of GrowthOps and Pureprofile
14 October: GrowthOps restructures board as majority of directors, including chair Dominique Fisher and CEO Paul Mansfield, resign
12 November: Redundancies as GrowthOps announces restructure to enter ‘next stage’

21 January:
GrowthOps ANZ CEO Jason Polson exits after three months in the role


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