Babington CEO steps down

Boss of huge training provider leaves due to 'personal reasons'

Boss of huge training provider leaves due to 'personal reasons'

15 May 2023, 15:29

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The boss of one of England’s largest training providers has stepped down with immediate effect.

Babington Business College confirmed today that chief executive David Marsh has left the company after almost five years at the helm.

A message to stakeholders, seen by FE Week, said Marsh’s decision to leave was due to “personal reasons”. Companies House shows he set up his own consultancy firm last week.

Marsh’s departure comes months after Babington was sold by RJD Partners in December 2022 to Unigestion, a Switzerland-based private equity firm.

A spokesperson for Babington said its board of directors is “actively working to appoint a new chief executive”.

The company’s “executive committee” members – chief operating officer Jen Bramley, chief learning officer Rachel Kay, and chief financial officer Steve McMullan – will take over the day-to-day leadership of the organisation.

Marsh is a recent former board member of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and a co-founder of the St Martin’s Group – another membership body for training providers.

He started his career in education as a teacher before spending almost six years at Babcock International Group where he was a director in the company’s training business.

He then spent two years as head of academies at British Gas before becoming managing director of Capita’s apprenticeship and training business, and then moving to Babington in October 2018.

Babington, which was founded almost 50 years ago, is currently rated ‘good’ by Ofsted and trains thousands of apprentices and adult learners each year in areas like accountancy, administration, management and employability skills.

The provider acquired the apprenticeships division of PeoplePlus, which had described that part of its business as “loss-making”, in 2020. Babington then shot up to the fifth biggest provider in terms of apprenticeship starts in England in 2021/22, recording 4,420 according to government data.

Babington is yet to file accounts for 2022, but its financial statements for 2021 show turnover reached £26.1 million in 2021 with a profit after tax of £3.4 million. However, Babington’s holding company, Project Sinatra Topco Ltd – now called Babington Managed Services Topco Ltd – showed a loss of £2.5 million in the same year.

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