The top job at the Britannic Group continues to prove too hot to handle as managing director Bryan Portman announced his intention to retire from the board in September.
Finance director Paul Thompson will fill the position from 1 July. Portman has been in the job for a year, and took over from Danny O’Neil after he had been in the job for only seven weeks.
It is expected that Portman will take on a non-executive role elsewhere, although no announcement has been made. Harold Cottam, chairman of Britannic, said: ‘Bryan has contributed enormously to the development of the group and its navigation of extremely testing market conditions. That phase now completed, and with Paul Thompson in position as his clear successor, Bryan has chosen to pursue other interests. Looking ahead, Paul has already more than demonstrated his abilities and I am fully confident in his leadership of the group.’
Britannic is currently looking for a finance director to replace Thompson.
Thompson did not feel the change in leadership reflected badly on Britannic or its ability to provide for its customers and commented: ‘There is a bit of history but that is in the past. Harold Cottam has been there for a long while as have other members of the management and I intend to do the job and stay.’
Last year, Britannic reported an operating profit before tax and exceptional items of £86m. This was down from £145m the year before.
The news follows a statement made at the start of the month that its specialist mortgage lending division Britannic Money is in talks with Paragon Mortgages over its possible sale. Thompson said negotiations were progressing well and that he expected there would be news ‘reasonably soon.’