Open Orphan plc (LON:ORPH), (to be renamed hVIVO plc (Ticker: HVO) effective 26 October 2022), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, has announced the appointment of Stephen Pinkerton as Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) and as an Executive Director, effective with immediate effect. Stephen will succeed Leo Toole who steps down from the Board and CFO role to pursue other interests. Leo will remain with the Company until 31 December 2022.
Leo was appointed to the Board and as CFO in February 2020 following the acquisition of hVIVO plc. He was a key member of the team that helped to turnaround the Company’s financial position and actively supported the Company in its engagement with the UK Government to complete the world’s first COVID-19 characterisation study in 2021.
Stephen is a chartered accountant with over 25 years of experience in senior financial roles and has served as Commercial Financial Director of hVIVO since July 2017, having previously been a consultant to the Company. Prior to joining hVIVO, Stephen spent 11 years in various senior financial roles at Thomson Reuters. He will be based in the Company’s Plumbers Row headquarters in East London alongside the Company’s CEO Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan.
Stephen has a strong background in financial planning and analysis, commercial finance, financial systems and financial control. As Commercial Financial Director of hVIVO, he has worked to transform the reporting and forecasting of the business, developed pricing models for contracts to help improve average contract value as well as driving margin improvements across the business, and has served as part of the business development team negotiating contract terms. As part of the leadership team, he has worked to help manage costs and restructure the business to improve efficiency, resulting in continued improvements in profitability.
Following the appointment of Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan as CEO on 24 February 2022, Cathal Friel is reverting to Non-Executive Chairman. Cathal remains fully committed to the business and will continue to work closely with Mo and Stephen going forward with particular focus on strategic initiatives for the Company.
Stephen Pinkerton, Chief Financial Officer of Open Orphan plc, said: “Having worked at hVIVO for over six years, both in a permanent role and previously as a consultant, I have built a deep knowledge of the business and forged relationships with many of our longstanding clients as part of the BD team. I am excited to begin this new role as CFO of the wider group as we look to continue the fantastic momentum that we have built in recent years.”
Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Open Orphan plc, said: “I am delighted that Stephen is stepping into the role of Chief Financial Officer. His experience and knowledge of the business mean he is ideally suited to support our growth strategy. I would like to thank Leo for his significant contribution to the Company over the past three years, where he has played a pivotal role in our progress to date.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Cathal as we build on the progress that both the Company and the entire team have made over the last three years.”
Disclosures in accordance with the AIM Rules and Euronext Growth Rules (as relevant)
Stephen Pinkerton, aged 59, holds 67,364 options over ordinary shares in the Company.
|Current Directorships / Partnerships||Past Directorships / Partnerships|
|None||Westfront Consultancy Limited|
Stephen was a Director at HB: Source Limited from 24 January 2005 to 11 June 2010. Prior to his appointment, HB: Source Limited was pursuing a Company Voluntary Arrangement (“CVA”) and Stephen was appointed to support HB: Source Limited through the CVA. HB: Source Limited was unable to fulfil its obligations under the terms of the CVA and ultimately entered into a creditors voluntary liquidation (“CVL”) on 8 December 2008. The estimated amount that unsecured creditors claimed was £1,380,000.00. The company was dissolved on 11 June 2010.
Save as disclosed above, there are no other disclosures required in relation to paragraph (g) of Schedule 2 of the AIM Rules for Companies.