& Leicester was described as the Volvo of the banking world; safe and
unexciting. So who better to be embattled Bradford & Bingley’s new boss than
former A&L FD and CEO Richard Pym?
Pym has cut his retirement short by announcing a return to executive
management, effectively ending the search for a replacement for Steven Crawshaw.
B&B has been a much publicized casualty of the enduring credit crunch,
with some reports suggesting the market value of the company has fallen by as
much as 85% in the past 12 months.
According to Mike Trippitt, analyst at Oriel Securities, the second half of
last year wasn’t as poor operationally for B&B as many had predicted, and
instead, it was the first half of 2008 which dealt the toughest blow.
‘It was a combination of credit write-downs and arrears picking up and the
need for capital raising and the departing CEO,’ he said.
The £400m rights issue launched in May has been plagued by problems with
retail and institutional investors taking up only about 20% of the available
The remaining B&B stock will be taken up by UBS and Citigroup, as well as
Now that the capital raising has been finalised and mortgage arrears are
picking up, Pym’s arrival heralds a pivotal time in the history of the lender.
There appears to be two schools of thought dictating B&B’s short-term
profitability: Is it a bad business or is it simply a good business in a bad
Trippitt leans to the latter and believes it’s simply a good business model
experiencing the impacts of taxing market conditions.
‘It’s a good business at a bad time. It’s a specialist lender with a good
market share. There’s a lot of experience,’ he said.
Despite history proving otherwise, Pym’s appointment has fuelled speculation
B&B could be being groomed for a potential takeover.
In his previous role at A&L, he rejected an acquisition offer by Credit
Agricole which, according to Trippitt, was a poor business decision.
‘He sent them packing when the price was right. Hindsight is a grave thing…
he didn’t sell A&L when he should have,’ he said.
Pym’s mandate will be looking to ensure provisioning is adequate and
necessary risk systems are in place.
‘His appointment is good news for B&B,’ Trippitt said.
Satvir Bungar promoted to managing director in the mergers and acquisitions team
Carolyn Brown appointed as the first head of client legal services practice RSM Legal
UK senior partner Phil Verity has been elected for a second term at Mazars
Tallat Mahmood appointed to corporate finance team of Top 20 firm