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Ex-JFS pupil who founded Ted Baker allowed to have active role in business again

Ray Kelvin was forced out following ‘forced hugging’ claims

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The founder of the Ted Baker fashion chain – a former JFS pupil – is to have an active role in running the business once again after he quit as boss amid “forced hugging” claims.

Ray Kelvin, who owns almost 12 per cent of the fashion retailer, stood down in March last year amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards staff.

But in what has been described as a new “relationship agreement” by the firm,  he will now have a say in business decisions for the first time in nearly two years.

In a statement, Ted Baker said this agreement would “bring the benefits of access to Ray’s unique brand experience and insight while at the same time introducing clear guidelines that will ensure board independence is maintained and that the interests of the shareholders are prioritised and protected”.

Mr Kelvin, 64, who has denied allegations of inappropriate conduct against him, will now have a nominated director on the board to represent his interests.

He founded the company in 1988, but took leave of absence immediately after harassment allegations were published in the Sunday Times in 2018. 

Then, the executive chair of the company, David Bernstein, praised Mr Kelvin “for his tireless energy and vision”.

But he added that “in light of the allegations made against him, Ray has decided that it is in the best interests of the company for him to resign so that the business can move forward under new leadership”.

An independent investigation into the allegations was conducted by City law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.

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