Lowell, one of Europe’s largest credit management companies, has announced that its founder James Cornell is stepping down from the role of chief executive.
Colin Storrar, the chief financial officer of Lowell since 2013 who has worked with Cornell to lead Lowell’s transformation into a pan-European business, will succeed Cornell as CEO. The leadership change takes effect from June 10.
Cornell said: “Having led Lowell for 15 years, I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together but I now feel that the time is right for me to step away and to hand the baton to Colin as my successor.
“We have built Lowell into a leading European group, with strong regional businesses in the three largest credit markets, highly talented general managers leading each region, over €13bn of AUM, more than 4,000 people, and a shared vision to be the best for clients and consumers alike. I am so pleased that my friend Colin will succeed me. He has been a tireless driving force within this business and has great knowledge of how both we, and the industry, work.
“He is a well-known member of the Lowell family that cares for the people that make this business – the employees, clients and consumers – as much as I do. I have every faith that Colin will take this business to the next level.”
In an announcement on the change, Lowell said Storrar brings a combination of deep financial services and general leadership experience both from his time at Lowell but also previous general management and finance roles with HSBC First Direct and GE Capital.
Cornell, who will continue as a significant investor, will take the role of market and operational consultant to the company, enabling Lowell to benefit from his institutional knowledge and experience. The board has begun a search for the chief financial officer role.
Chairman Heinz Hilgert said: “On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank James for his service to Lowell and for building the platform for the company’s future success. We are delighted that he will remain close as an adviser and shareholder.
“Having significantly grown financially and geographically in the past several years, Lowell has entered an era of being a truly European platform which is reflected in this leadership set-up.
“We are well progressed with the transition already – having brought in highly qualified general managers for our three key regions. As we look to the years ahead, we will continue to grow the business in the right way, targeting sustainable long-term growth with an appropriate capital structure to match our ambition.”
Chief executive designate Storrar added: “I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to lead the business in such a crucial and exciting phase of its development and to continue the close cooperation within the management team.
“Our focus is on delivering sustainable results by implementing our successful growth strategy as a European market leader. It has been a huge pleasure to work with James these past six years. He’s been a valued colleague and friend. I’d like to thank him on behalf of the business and the industry, for all he’s done to bring positive change to the company and the sector.”