Lowell announces exec changes as purchases reach £73m

Debt purchaser Lowell has announced changes to its executive team, after posting £73m of portfolio purchases for the second quarter.

Lowell announces exec changes as purchases reach £73m

Just after publishing a results update Lowell announced that Sara de Tute, currently group chief risk officer, has been appointed to the UK board as non-executive director. She will be succeeded by Laurence Bogni-Bartholmé who joins from Wells Fargo, the consumer and commercial lender, on September 1.

Lowell said that after five years in the role, de Tute has decided to join the UK board in the non-exec position from October 1. She will sit on the UK risk and audit committees and intends to continue as a board member of the Credit Services Association.

With almost 25 years’ experience in audit and risk, Bogni-Bartholmé is joining Lowell after a stint as head of international risk oversight EMEA at Wells Fargo.

As group CRO, she will report to group chief executive James Cornell and will lead the risk and compliance functions. She will join the group executive and become a member of the group board.

Having initially joined KPMG from university, Bogni-Bartholmé has worked in senior risk roles for financial firms such as Credit Agricole and GE Capital.

Cornell said: “I am pleased to welcome Laurence to the team. We have significant growth plans, and a strong and resilient approach to risk across the business is vitally important to delivering them. With her years of experience across European markets, she will be a real asset to the business as we enter the next stage of our growth.”

He added: “I would like to extend my thanks to Sara for the years of help and support she has provided me, the executive team and the business more widely. To have her join the UK board is recognition of how much we value her insight, experience and contribution to the success of the group.”

The announcement on exec changes came just days after Lowell posted cash EBITDA of £70.9m for May to June – an 18 percent rise on the previous three months. The group’s results also show gross debt purchase cash collections reached £114m in the three months to June 30, an increase of 21 percent year-on-year.

While operating profit notched up to £34.3m, the group posted a pre-tax loss of £10.8m for the second quarter.

However Lowell now has 27.4 million owned accounts, and a 120-month estimated remaining collections of £1.89bn. ERC was up 25 percent on June last year.

Operating costs increased for the business, from £80.1m during the second quarter of 2016, to £97.2m in the same period this year. The results also show that operating expenses un-related to collection activity costs were £52.1m from May to June, compared to £37.6m in the same period last year.