Bluestone’s founder and executive chairman Alistair Jeffery will continue as non-executive chairman, dividing his time between Bluestone’s head office in Cambridge, UK, and its regional offices in Dublin, Manila and Sydney.
Jeffery will be focusing on further expansionary strategies for Bluestone.
McGuiness joined Bluestone from Japanese investment bank Nomura in 2003 to establish its equity release business. After stints as chief financial officer and chief executive, APAC, he moved to the UK in 2013 to lead expansion into mortgage lending as well as the establishment of car and equipment financing in Ireland.
Jeffery said: “Peter is 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.”
Bluestone 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 concentrated on providing specialist loan products to customers that don’t fit traditional lending criteria. This includes: self-employed, recent migrants, contractors and part-time workers and customers that have had prior credit problems.
This niche was significantly impacted during the financial crisis but Bluestone said it is making a return to the mainstream, as traditional lenders focus on high volume, automated and commoditised lending. It has lent over £4bn to the sector since 2000.
McGuinness said: “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.”
He added: “Our managing director for Bluestone Mortgages UK, Matt Andrews, is building an exciting business, creating a leading specialist lender supporting customers who are underserved by the high street banks, and I am confident the business will continue to deliver strong growth.”