HBOS confident over future as Bolton bolts

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

Bolton , along with senior BM Solutions staff Alan Cleary, John Nixon, Rob Williams and Mark Smith, all quit HBOS this week to join London-based private equity firm The Oakwood Group. It is expected they will set up a new specialist lender when they start at Oakwood in 2006.

Phil Jenks, previously head of HBOS mortgage strategy and with over 30 years experience at Halifax and HBOS, has been brought in to replace Bolton, saying he will lead its five mortgage brands through the next phase of growth.

Paul Fincham, spokesperson at Halifax, put paid to any suggestions that HBOS will suffer through these latest resignations which come two weeks after TMB’s directors quit to join Deutsche Bank.

He said: “It’s business as usual. If you have good people working for you, inevitably they will be in demand. We’re keeping our usual strategy and our five brands. Phil Jenks has been instrumental in leading the development of HBOS’ brands and has been there from the start. Bolton had been with us for four years and we are sad to see him leave but Phil will do as good a job as Michael did.”

Commentators have been quick to suggest that Bolton’s departure highlights how HBOS has been rethinking its strategy recently – a strategy that Bolton may not have been comfortable with.

Mortgage Introducer revealed last month that HBOS subsidiary BM Solutions had appointed three new packagers, a move that conveyed the company was welcoming back this sector of the market, going against Bolton’s anti-packager stance.

It has also been suggested Bolton may not have suited his role at HBOS. As Linda Will, managing director of Accord Mortgages, explained: “Michael took BM Solutions and made it a success. But entrepreneurs maybe don’t belong in big conglomerates like HBOS. Thinking on your feet and taking control all go out the window.”

Sign up to our daily email