A consumer finance business has announced the appointment of a new managing director and chief executive officer.
Ahmed Fahour has joined Latitude Financial, replacing Sean Morrissey, who has returned home to the United Kingdom for health and family reasons.
Fahour is a former managing director and CEO of Australia Post and CEO of the Australian and Asian operations of NAB, as well as an executive director on the NAB Board.
Latitude chair Mike Tilley said the appointment of a recognised business leader with the stature of Fahour was an exciting moment in the ongoing journey and growth of the company.
He added, “Ahmed is the ideal individual to take the helm of Latitude as we embark on a new chapter and seize the opportunities that exist in a changing financial services landscape.
“His experiences and proven track record running large scale enterprises perfectly suit our ambitions as a growing challenger in a market in which customers demand better services and solutions.”
The group had been planning an Initial Public Offering (IPO), however with the leadership transtition and external market considerations, this has been deferred. Tilley said the board would continue to explore strategic options, which may include a future listing on the ASX.
About his appointment Fahour said, “I have long been an admirer of the Latitude business. It’s had many years of success and I know having competed against it that it has some great capability and people.
“I am delighted to have this opportunity to lead Latitude at a time of exciting changes and disruption in financial services.
“Now that Latitude has been successfully established as its own business with a new brand there are many opportunities available for this dynamic platform.
“Along with regulatory changes, new customer facing technology offers significant opportunities for Latitude to both directly support its customers and to continue to support its partners, online and in stores.”
Tilley thanked outgoing CEO Morrissey for his significant contribution over the past three years. After Latitude’s acquisition from GE Consumer Finance in November 2015, Morrissey led a change program and investment agenda across all facets of the company.
He added, “I respect the desire of Sean and his family to relocate back home to the UK and know that it has been a difficult period given his recent health challenges. We wish his family all the best and thank Sean for all that he has done with us as a colleague. His achievements have laid the foundations for our future growth and success.”
Morrissey said he was immensely proud of what the team has achieved over the last three years.
He added, “We have completed a full and complex separation from GE after 20 years of ownership, we have made great strides in getting the business back to growth, improving its operating efficiency and we have put a funding structure in place which is sustainable for the long term.
“However, given my recent health concerns, now feels like the appropriate time for me to personally bow out, giving a new leader the opportunity to run this great business, to set the future strategy and direction of the business and make the necessary long-term personal commitment to take the business on the next exciting stage of its ownership journey.”