Shares in British mobile banking firm Monitise plummeted 18 percent this morning following the news that its founder co-CEO is to leave the company.

Alistair Lukies, who started the firm in 2003, will step down from his post immediately, with fellow co-chief Elizabeth Buse becoming the sole CEO of Monitise, with Lukies staying on as ‘Founder and Strategic Adviser’ to her.

Unique

“Monitise is a unique business that set out a decade ago to be the leading, trusted enabler of mobile money services to some of the world’s leading financial institutions,” Lukies said in a statement.

“In achieving that goal, it has also positioned itself perfectly for the rising tide of digital commerce. As an agnostic, independent and self-sustaining business, led by an incredible leader in Elizabeth, employing some very talented people with a technology platform that is bank grade, scalable and steeped in innovation, Monitise is set to thrive.”

Stephen Shurrock, head of Telefonica’s digital services, will also join Monitise as a non-executive director, representing Telefonica and Santander, two of the company’s most significant shareholders.

Additionally, Monitise, which is listed on London’s AIM exchange, also announced it would be taking itself off the market having been up for sale since January.

A company statement said that the “best way of maximising long-term value for all stakeholders is to continue transforming and streamlining the business as an independent company” – following “a number of expressions of interest” which did not recognise its long-term value.

Independent

The news followed a three month strategic review carried out by Monitise to identify best practices and look to maximise profits for its shareholders.

Going forward, this means the company will focus on sales in Europe, the Middle East and North America, with additional market opportunities being pursued where they directly support partner needs.

“Following a thorough and disciplined Strategic Review, the Board has concluded that the best prospects for the business and shareholders are through remaining as an independent company,” Monitise chairman Peter Ayliffe said in a statement.

“I am extremely confident that the business is at a point in its development where the prospects for delivering long-term value are excellent. The feedback from third parties re-affirms that we have a uniquely strong technology platform, a talented and highly respected management team, and a deep well of support among staff, partners and clients for what we are seeking to achieve.

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Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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