Provident Financial shares climb 5%, new CEO confirms

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In a stock market announcement, the subprime lender confirmed that interim chairman Malcolm Le May will take office as chief executive effective immediately.

Le May was selected following a nomination committee process undertaken by the Board of Directors, led by Independent Lead Director Stuart Sinclair. To make this decision, the board consulted selected majority shareholders and discussed the appointment with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

“It became clear to the Board of Directors as the research progressed that the Executive Chairman who has helped move the company forward over the past several months was the best person to complete the turnaround of Provident Financial Group. as the group’s new CEO, ”Sinclair said Friday.

Regarding his appointment, Le May commented: “My main objective is to effect a turnaround of the group. We will reestablish a stronger customer-centric business; conclude with our regulators the problems related to Vanquis Bank and Moneybarn; continue to grow our Housing Credit activity and make it a predominant activity in its market; and ensure that our businesses work together for the benefit of our customers and shareholders.

Markets were applauded by the update, the first good news released by Provident Financial, following a wave of bad press last year that wreaked havoc on its share price and hurt markets. major shareholders Neil Woodford and Mark Barnett of Invesco Perpetual.

Its stock price rose 5.5% to 707p at the time of writing, recouping some of the ground lost in January after recording a loss in its last trade update.

However, the door-to-door lender’s shares are still down about 24% from their start-of-year level and are around 74% below the price they reached 12 years ago. month.

The consumer credit firm has effectively run out of CEOs for the past five months, after disgraced boss Peter Crook’s hasty exit. Crook resigned as CEO shortly after the company issued its second profit warning in months, which caused its share price to fall by more than 70%.

His successor, Acting Executive Chairman Manjit Wolstenholme, passed away suddenly last year, a few months after taking office and as the company continued its search for a permanent replacement for the CEO.

High brass rework

In addition to confirming Le May’s appointment, the firm also announced a number of other management and board changes.

Chris Sweeney, managing director of Vanquis Bank, is expected to be promoted to deputy managing director of the group once FCA’s ongoing investigation into its credit card repayment option (ROP) plan is successfully concluded.

Sinclair will replace Le May as the new interim president. His former position as senior independent director will be occupied by Andrea Blance.

Going forward, the board will appoint a new external chairman, as well as two additional non-executive directors.

On the status of its other activities, Provident Financial said that the mortgage business “continues to make good operational progress and discussions continue with the FCA regarding the Vanquis Bank and Moneybarn investigations ”.


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