Two National Express buses at the Victoria Coach Station in London

National Express is to lose its finance director, who will take up the same post at the Croda chemicals group at the start of next year.

Jez Maiden has been in the job at National Express since 2008 and is regarded by investors as having done a good job in helping steer the bus and rail group through a 2009 rights issue and dealings with the activist investor Elliott Advisors in 2011.

This week National Express lost its bid for the ScotRail franchise to Abellio, an arm of the Dutch state rail operator, despite having offered the highest price.

The group’s one rail franchise is Essex Thameside, known as c2c, which runs out of London to Southend and is a relatively small contract. The group also operates buses in Spain, Morocco, the US and has a rail contract in Germany.

Birmingham-based National Express won a contract last month to run 141 buses in Bahrain’s capital, Manama. This month it will exit the German bus market after being squeezed out by intense local competition. The group will report its third-quarter results on October 30.

“On behalf of everyone at National Express I would like to thank Jez for the significant contribution he has made as finance director over the past six years,” said Dean Finch, chief executive. “We understand the reasons behind his decision and wish him every success in the future.”

Mr Maiden said: “I have had a hugely enjoyable and rewarding time at National Express and will be sad to leave. I am looking forward to my new opportunity at Croda, in an industry where I began my plc career, and am confident National Express will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Shares in National Express edged up 0.3 per cent to 229.90p at mid-afternoon on Friday.

At Croda, Mr Maiden will replace Sean Christie who announced in June that he would step down from the role after nine years. Shares in the FTSE 250 member edged down 0.9 per cent to £20.47 in mid-afternoon.

Croda’s chairman Martin Flower: “I am delighted to welcome Jez to the Croda board. He has an exceptional track record as a group finance director and has had extensive experience working across the speciality chemical sector. He will be a valuable addition to our senior team and we look forward to working with him.”

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