The future of JJB chief executive Chris Ronnie is hanging in the balance after the retailer launched an investigation into a transfer of his JJB shares.

It has emerged that Ronnie’s 27.5 per cent stake, held through investment vehicle Guro Leisure, formerly Hallco, has been transferred to the administrators of Icelandic bank Kaupthing.

The deal was the result of a contractual obligation between the investment vehicle and Kaupthing, which provided Ronnie with investment funds. The date of the transfer is unknown but may have preceded Kaupthing's administration in October.

The developments have raised concerns about the transparency of JJB's share ownership structure, which was already under investigation by the Financial Services Authority.

JJB said in a statement that Ronnie has informed them that "he is not aware of the date or place of the relevant transaction or of the price per share in respect of the transaction".

It continued: “He understands that the legal and beneficial ownership of the shares and accordingly the voting rights attaching to the same were transferred pursuant to the loan documents.”

JJB said that a full investigation was underway and it has asked its legal advisors to continue the company’s investigation into the matter.

One City analyst said: “This makes Ronnie’s position precarious; he may not be around much longer.”

At the start of this month, JJB chairman Sir David Jones assumed executive powers and former Selfridges boss Peter Williams was drafted in to take responsibility for strategic development.