Bluestone News

CEO appointment at Bluestone Group

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Bluestone Group, an international financial services business, is pleased to announce today the appointment of Peter McGuinness as Group CEO, with immediate effect. Founder and Executive Chairman, Alistair Jeffery, will continue to be actively engaged in the business as non-executive Chairman, dividing his time between Bluestone's head office in Cambridge, UK, and its regional offices in Dublin, Manila and Sydney, and focussing on further expansionary strategies for Bluestone.

Commenting on the move, Mr Jeffery said:
“Peter was the ideal candidate, combining wide international accounting and structured finance skills with deep operational experience in the specialist lending sector. We believe he is best placed to continue driving the business forward over the next decade.”

After working at Japanese investment bank, Nomura International in the 1990s, Peter joined Bluestone in Australia in 2003 to establish its Equity Release business, before taking on the role of CFO, and then CEO - APAC in the aftermath of the financial crisis. He joined Mr Jeffery in the UK in 2013 and has led the successful expansion into mortgage lending and also the establishment of a car and equipment finance business in Ireland.

Bluestone is now a significantly larger business than at its pre-crisis peak, with a global workforce of over 250 in four countries, net assets of £40m and normalised earnings of over £8m pa. The business is 53% owned by LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Bank, and 14% by Macquarie Bank, with the balance held by the management team and staff.

The business has stuck to its pedigree of providing specialist loan products to customers that don't fit traditional lending criteria. This niche was significantly impacted during the financial crisis but is making a steady return to the mainstream, as traditional lenders focus on high volume, automated and commoditised lending. Bluestone lends to the self-employed, recent migrants, contractors and part-time workers and customers that have had prior credit problems. It has lent over £4 billion to the sector since 2000.

The business has active capital markets programmes supporting its lending businesses in Australia, Ireland and the UK, most recently placing A$200m of rated notes to largely domestic investors in Australia, its 15th such transaction. The business debuted in Ireland in May 2016 with the Topaz securitisation of €25 million of auto loans originated by Bluestone Asset Finance (Ireland) and completed a second securitisation in October.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr McGuinness said:
“Under Alistair’s leadership, Bluestone has developed a clear vision for growth over the next five years, and I am looking forward to drawing on my 13 years of experience with Bluestone and taking on the challenge of executing that plan. Our Managing Director, Donal Murphy, is building an exciting business in Ireland, creating a leading specialist asset finance lender supporting customers who are underserved by the pillar banks, and I am confident the recent growth trajectory will continue.”