RYVL – formerly known as The Marketing Group – sees CEO resign and shares suspended

Agency collective RYVL – which is the operating name for the consortium previously known as The Marketing Group – has seen its chief executive officer Adam Graham resign.

The organisation – at one time with agencies in Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the United States – has replaced Graham with Jesper Ohlenschlaeger, who has taken on the roles of interim CEO and executive chairman.

On top of that, inside information was leaked in a Tweet by Ohlenschlaeger – resulting in the shares being suspended from the Nasdaq First North stock exchange in Sweden, where the company is publicly listed.

On Twitter, Ohlenschlaeger stated: “Its turned around. Q1 results will be amazing! 5 times up…wait and see.”

In a statement, the company described the incident as “human error” that caused the “leakage of financial information” and said it regretted what had happened.

Before the suspension, the share price had dropped by 90% over the last 12 months.

Ohlenschlaeger was described by the company as a blockchain expert and “a serial entrepreneur with achievements in private equity environments and a variety of sectors, having started over 20 companies in the last 25 years”.

The company board now consists of Ohlenschlaeger plus non-executive director Nic Hellyer and and Pietro Raineri – managing Director of Raineri Group, which is said to be “one of the largest divisions of The Marketing Group”.

Raineri replaces Sean Gogarty, who also stepped down from the board this month.

The outgoing Graham, who had been CEO for nearly two and a half years, said: “I am confident that Jesper’s vision and experience will take the group into its next stage of development.

“I would like to thank shareholders for their support and wish the group every success in the future.”

Meanwhile, Ohlenschlaeger thanked Graham “for his contribution”. He also pointed to blockchain as the future direction of travel for the company following the recent acquisition of Blockchain Nordic for €4.8m – in a combination of cash, shares and loan notes – and the company’s launch of blockchain media agency ‘Truth’ in July of last year.

A statement of intent rom RYVL’s website

“We have seen an explosion in the blockchain industry over the last two years and I believe the group is very well positioned to continue to be a leading company in the blockchain space in the northern part of Europe and to expand our activities into Asia and America,” said Ohlenschlaeger

“I look forward to the future with confidence as we strive to deliver exceptional growth.”

Last November, RYVL axed a number of its companies. Those that were “disposed of or discontinued” were Rainmakers MSA, One9Ninety, One9Social – which was trading as Narratrs – plus Channel Zero, Marker Limited and Clickverta.

The remaining “core companies” still operating were RYVL Ranieri Public Relations (which includes the agencies formerly trading as Wildcard Communications and Reflexion Publique), RYVL Slingshot Sponsorship, RYVL Truth Media, RYVL Addiction Advertising and RYVL DAE Advertising.

RYVL is still inviting new agencies to join on its website

“This leaves the group to immediately focus on a reduced number of core companies, all trading under the RYVL banner,” the company stated.

“These continuing operations provide a highly integrated offering and will have offices in London, Paris, Düsseldorf, Singapore and San Francisco.” Despite this, RYVL is still inviting agencies to join the network on its company website.

At the time of the previous cull, Graham told Mumbrella that RYVL made the move because it required “revolution, not evolution”, adding: “ We made the brave move of disposing of further agencies, so that we now have a stable base of highly complementary businesses all working really highly together.

“Shortly afterwards, we announced the acquisition of Blockchain Nordic. The whole group now has a very tight focus around providing marketing services to tech brands.

“By deepening our capability in blockchain, we believe we can capitalise on the explosive growth in this area and provide the next generation of high growth businesses with 360 services fit for the modern world.”

Listed as ‘Our Beliefs’ on RYVL’s company website

Back in June 2018, the company – which was originally founded in Singapore as a holding company alternative to WPP – changed its name to RYVL.

All of the network’s then 15 agencies were rebranded to include RYVL alongside their respective names.

Listing some of its clients, RYVL cites work for Speedo, Weet-Bix, Yahoo and Opel among others.

The last available financials posted for the company show a turnover of €9.5 million for the first half of 2018, with net revenue during the same period – January 1 to June 30 – of €6.9 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of of €0.9 million.

Net revenue grew by 11% year-on-year due to the acquisition of Wildcard Communications in the second half of 2017, it was said.


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