EXCLUSIVE: James Riley resigns as chief executive of Gem-A


James Riley has resigned as chief executive of Gem-A.

His resignation was submitted last week despite considerable support for him from rank-and-file members, trustees, senior executives and several current and former members of the Gem-A board.

It is not clear whether the resignation has yet been formally accepted by the board, which is currently without a chairperson.

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Mr. Riley has been on leave since March of this year and was reportedly suffering with ill health.

Gem-A has been in turmoil since Mr. Riley was suspended by Gem-A while it investigated allegations of improper conduct by the chief executive.

Professional Jeweller has agreed not to publish those allegations at this time.

Gem-A members called for an extraordinary general meeting to flush out evidence of any wrongdoing, or reinstate Mr. Riley. That EGM has not taken place, and neither has an AGM that has been delayed since the crisis broke.

Harry Levy, president of Gem-A, told Professional Jeweller last month that Mr Riley has been respected throughout his tenure as CEO and is popular with employees and members.

“James has a lot of support,” Mr Levy told Professional Jeweller on June 19. “The problem now is that there is no trust between the Members and the Trustees,” he added. “Everybody is pointing fingers at everybody else.”

The long-running saga has seen several directors resign including Jason Williams who quit as chairman in May but remained a trustee until last week; Steve Collins, who walked away in June, and Jessica Cadzow-Collins who became interim chair after Williams resigned, but fell on her sword last week.

Jonathan Lambert also left the board last week following the news when it appeared that Mr. Riley’s resignation had been accepted.

Mr. Riley has been chief executive of Gem-A since April 2012, before which he was chairman of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain for three years.


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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder


    1. My sources confirm that James Riley has resigned. The question remains whether that resignation will be accepted by the Gem-A board, or whether they will choose another option.

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