Guarantor lender Amigo Loans has announced that Glen Crawford, who was appointed chief executive in only July, has pulled out from the role “after a divergence of views” with fellow board members.
The withdrawal of Crawford, who has terminated his current contract with immediate effect, was “unexpected” according to a statement from Amigo.
Crawford had previously led Amigo as chief executive between 2016 and 2019, and was responsible for the IPO of the business in July 2018.
His abrupt decision has come in a period of an ongoing power struggle between the board and the company’s founder James Benamor to wrest control of the company and its direction. The lender has also faced a regulatory investigation this year, and profits have fallen over 80%.
Crawford’s exit follows a similarly sudden departure of the previous CEO. Hamish Paton, who resigned as Amigo CEO at the end of last year after just five months in charge, worked a notice period until July this year – when Crawford’s appointment was first announced.
This means the business has lost two CEOs in less than 12 months, as well as two chairmen and other board directors.
However Amigo has now agreed to appoint Gary Jennison, the former Secure Trust Bank chief executive, in Crawford’s place.
Jennison said: “It’s fair to say that I like a tough challenge and, when it’s sorted, I take a lot of pride from the end result. Amigo is a business full of good people at all levels and working together we can sort this. Our customers need us and by Amigo not being able to lend more widely at the moment, they are the ones that are missing out. The ability of Amigo to help our current and future customers – who typically can’t access mainstream finance – could genuinely change their lives and set them on a path to financial inclusion.”
Jennison, who joined Amigo as a non-exec director on August 10 this year, has extensive experience of several turnaround situations. He was CEO of Secure Trust Bank from September 2006 to May 2010, being appointed with the mandate to reverse its long-term decline.
Whilst CEO, profits increased significantly, against the backdrop of the 2008/2010 banking crisis. Jennison was also chief executive of PayZone UK, a payments processor operating in the sub-prime sector, from March 2011 to October 2013, where he reversed the long term decline in the business.
Amigo said it will update the market in due course on the impact of these board changes on the general meeting to be held on 29 September 2020.